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Do you have a tween? A child in that in between stage–no longer a little child, but not yet a teenager.
Freelancing with a tween means navigating the beginnings of hormones and the ending of temper tantrums. It’s a whole different ballpark!
Thankfully, most tweens rise and fall to meet our expectations. So as we examine these tips, remember to believe in your child.
(Do you have a child of another age? Check out the rest of this series here.)
11 Tips for Freelancing with a Tween
#1. Let Your Tween Proofread
You know what’s pretty awesome about tweens? They have a solid understanding of basic English. That means they can be your go-to proofreader.
While your tween may not catch every mistake you make, they will certainly find basic spelling and grammar errors for you.
So let your tween read what you write (unless you write something a tween shouldn’t be reading…). It’ll be great English practice for them, and very helpful for you!
#2. Encourage Your Tween to Read Blogs
Your tween is learning that the world is a pretty big place. Help him or her discover new interests by reading blogs from youth around the world. You can find a list of potential blogs to check out here.
While you’re freelancing, have your tween read three-five blog posts. After they’re done reading, stop working for a few moments and discuss the posts.
A few questions can guide your discussion: What did they learn? What did they notice about the writing style? What’s the primary topic of the blog you liked most?
3. Let Your Tween Take Pictures
Many tweens have a keen interest in all things tech. Let them explore the world of photography, and take pictures with a digital camera. I had my daughter take a basic photography class on Craftsy.
Once your child demonstrates the ability to take care of the camera, turn them loose with it. Let them shoot pictures that capture their eye. You never know when something they snap will be the perfect featured image for a post you’re working on.
If your tween enjoys photography, you can try giving them photography assignments that’ll help you out. See if they can arrange a plate of food just so for a picture, or capture the ripples in the creek.
4. Encourage Your Tween to Explore Personal Interests
Children in the 10-12 year old age range likely enjoy many things. Encourage them to spend 45 minutes each day exploring personal interests.
While they’re working, you can be too!
Here’s some ideas:
-Watch YouTube videos on the subject
-Read a book
-Practice a skill
The goal is for you to teach your tween to self-engage in activities that are of interest. If your tween isn’t yet self-motivated, it’s the perfect time to teach her.
5. Freelance During Homework Time
Whether or not your kids are in public school, chances are pretty good your tween is starting to spend more time on academic projects. Have a set homework time each day, answer any questions that your child may have, and both of you sit down to work.
Explaining that your freelancing projects are like your homework–you’ll be speaking your tween’s language.
6. Have a Schedule
Tweens (like kids of most age) thrive on routine. They like to know what to expect.
However, they also like feeling in control. It’s time to start handing over some of the scheduling reigns, and letting your child have some say in his time.
Sit down at the beginning of each year (or quarter) and go over everyone’s commitments and desires. Schedule some free time for your tween–they can pick an activity of interest to do during this time.
Remember to also include some time together. Your tween needs you–even if she doesn’t really realize it yet.
7. Family Brainstorm Time
Children have so many neat ideas! I love sitting down with my crew and brainstorming. I tell them a topic we’ll be working on, and everyone starts saying words and phrases that pop into their mind.
I jot everything down, recording our collective brain dump. Getting another perspective is so helpful!
8. Teach Social Media Skills
Even if you don’t plan on letting your tween open social media accounts for a few years, it’s the perfect time to lay a foundation.
If you’re updating your businesses’ Facebook page, take time to explain the process to your child. Show her Twitter, let him explore topics of interest on Pinterest.
Talk about social media safety as well!
9. Research Together
Are you researching for an upcoming post? Call your tween over and explain how you pick a keyword to research.
Talk about reliable sites, why you might not use Wikipedia, and how to avoid sites that don’t have appropriate content.
I love creating scavenger hunts for kids in this age group. I ask a dozen obscure questions, and have my child head to Google to learn the answers. I require them to list their source as well, so we can talk about it later.
A project like this is a great way for your tween to stay busy while you’re freelancing.
If you need teaching research skills, check out Common Sense Media’s article here.
10. Talk & Walk
Taking a walk together is a wonderful way to connect with a tween. While you’re paying attention to traffic and bumps in the road, you’re able to talk without requiring eye contact. It’s a lot less awkward for some conversations that tweens need!
Walking is also good for you–it gets you away from the computer and out into some fresh air. I try to walk every day, taking at least one of the kids with me. We love the special time!
11. Ask For Your Tween’s Input
Are you redesigning your website? Selecting a photo to edit? Stuck on a catchy headline for your latest post?
Take a moment and ask your tween for input. See which option she prefers. Ask why.
You’ll learn more about your tween, and get a second opinion on your work.
Even if you don’t go with the decision your tween made, taking time to have these conversations will help you feel more confident in your choices.
Freelancing with Tweens
What other advice do you have for freelancing with a tween? I’d love to have you share!