Balancing Friends and Family
At times your tween will prefer to play with or talk to friends rather than spend time with you, just as you'll want to spend time with your friends instead of with your child now and again. And don't underestimate the value of extended family members for your tween. Whatever differences you have with your own parents, siblings, and in-laws, encourage your tween to develop a relationship with them. There's no substitute for the sense of connectedness that comes with being part of a multi-generational family.
Remember: If you can relax and truly enjoy your child as much as her friends and other family members do, she won't seek them out to flee the unhappiness at home, and you won't feel so much need for a break from her. The goal should be for all of the time you spend with your tween to be high quality. Believe it or not, it's possible.
Fifty years ago, children averaged three to four hours per day interacting with parents or extended family members. Today's children only average about 15 minutes, and “12 of those are in a setting of critique, instruction, or criticism,” according to Josh McDowell, author of How to Help your Child Say “No” to Sexual Pressure.