Deciphering our grandchildren, instructions for use

Society has changed, very quickly and profoundly. Today, with social media and new technologies, children have nothing to do with their parents at the same age. Result: we don't understand anything! Don't panic, we have the instructions.• She swallows two burgers at once, then eats only seeds

It is as if she no longer likes my good little dishes, those for which she was running stomach down just a few months ago!

Decryption: she begins to feel a social pressure on her physique or she experiences badly the changes which affect her body. Result: she nibbles on seeds to lose weight, and turns to junk food to console herself.

The right attitude: investigate and speak, speak, speak. "Tell her you've noticed that she's trying to lose weight, ask her if she's in love, for example, or if they made fun of her at school," advises Florence Millot. It can be a fad, but it can also be an emerging eating disorder. If this persists, we talk about it tactfully to her parents (without betraying her!).

• Spends time texting but doesn't read mine

I am neither susceptible nor paranoid, but I wonder if he is not rejecting me.

Decryption: his cell phone is not just a communication tool. It is his secret garden, which he shares with young people his age. "Adolescence is the moment of a restructuring of vertical attachment links (parents) to horizontal links (friends), nothing more normal! Recalls Isabelle Filliozat. No encroachment.

The right attitude: call on a good old landline phone like before. Even if he pretends to be annoyed, he will appreciate it. "The figure of grandparents is reassuring because it is far from what grandchildren experience," says Florence Millot. It represents a reliable benchmark. "

• She doesn't want me to kiss her anymore and sometimes asks for a big hug

She blows hot and cold, and this "I love you either" relationship leaves me completely taken aback.

Decryption: the physical and hormonal transformations upset the adolescent's perception of his body. Girl or boy, the child no longer accepts a contact that becomes intimate for him. At the same time, he may still feel the need to reconnect to reassuring childhood sensations.

The right attitude: give him some space, but let him know that you are always available for an emergency hug. And savor what it gives you!

Thanks to Isabelle Filliozat, psychologist and author of Au Coeur des Emotions de l'Enfant (Ed. Marabout), and to Florence Millot, child psychologist.

Read also : 5 good reasons to talk about love with our grandchildren

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