The Gift of Relational Presence: How to Connect With Your Tween

Brooklyn Letters IconBrooklyn Letters

1139 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn

4.9 56 reviews

  • Avatar Emily Matles ★★★★★ a week ago
    We would highly recommend Ally! Our son always asks about her, so very thankful to Brooklyn Letters for introducing us.
    ~ Emily, mom of Brooklyn 2 year old
  • Avatar Natalie Levon ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Nicole has been an amazing therapist!! She played a tremendous role in our daughter’s speech progress and overall development. She has come such a long way and we are so happy with the therapy she received!
  • Avatar T Ainsley ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    I cannot express how grateful and rewarding my experience with Brooklyn Letters has been. Her tutor Ms. Daria is so knowledgeable, amazing, kind and awesome. My daughter has made so much progress in Literacy and Math and it's all … More thanks to Ms. Daria. I know my daughter is sad that she can no longer work with Ms. Daria, as she looked forward to their sessions every week. Thank you again!
  • Avatar Jackie Vasquez ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Excellent services, caring therapists.
  • Avatar Lil Amatore ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    Christina was absolutely wonderful. She went out of her way to win my son over and it worked. He looked forward to her visits and his speech improved so much under her care. She was super flexible and it’s clear she truly cares. We adore … More Christina and we’re going to miss her. Almost sad he improved so much! She’s simply amazing and we can’t say enough how great she is. I would recommend her services to anyone and everyone, without hesitation. Thank you so much for connecting us with her!
  • Avatar Colin Peters ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    We could not be happier with the services Valerie provided! She is very thoughtful and knowledgeable and provided significant guidance to support our daughter's speech development outside of our scheduled sessions. She established … More a great working relationship with her, and she will definitely be missed! Your business model is amazing and it was an absolute pleasure working with Valerie. I've referred your organization and Valerie to the Executive Director of our daughter's school and friends/colleagues who are in need of speech therapy services.
  • Avatar Heather Liljengren ★★★★★ a year ago
    We cannot say enough good things about Effie, the ASL teacher, who was so engaged and effective with our 2 year old daughter from the very first session! Effie gladly included our whole family in the sessions! Her expertise and fantastic … More personality gave our daughter a way to communicate that she was so desperately seeking. The coordinators at Brooklyn Letters were so helpful and communicative…I would highly recommend their services!
  • Avatar Chris duke Fields ★★★★★ a month ago
    The company is great with outstanding customer service. They keep my horses protected. I have recommended them to other horses trainers as well that are going to get service early next year. Very professional an honest too. Respectfully … More submitted Christopher
  • Avatar Nikhil Jaisinghani ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Ron and Ken did a fantastic job with our security system today. Installed everything very quick. Both of them were very polite and asked us throughout if the installation met our needs. Simply fantastic!
  • Avatar Linda Parsley ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    I called Cornerstone Protection to get a Security system at a relatives out of state property, within a week it was installed! The installers worked with the client to help understand her new system and she was happy! Our relative said … More they were courteous, professional and patient! I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection for all of your security needs!
  • Avatar Amanda Clay Mackin ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Had blink cameras; Car was broken into multiple times so I called CornerStone & they were able to install multiple cameras very quickly & for a reasonable price. I am so happy with the app & getting alerts that are not superfluous, … More like they were with Blink. Highly recommend CornerStone & the tech Ronnie.
  • Avatar Pete Peters ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Ron and Ken are great guys to work with.
    Both were very knowledgeable and got our system back up and running.
    Thanks to both for a job well done...
  • Avatar Brigid Bower ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Samantha Dalmas was fantastic! We saw her for a feeding therapy evaluation and while she doesn’t think my daughter needs more feeding therapy sessions at this time, but she gave me lots of tips to try. If my daughter's doctors want … More to see more progress at her next appointment, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Samantha again.
  • Avatar Larry Barton ★★★★★ a year ago
    Amazing assistance provided by Shannon today on my security system. I’m so grateful for your prompt, efficient, professional, and courteous service. Put me down as a customer for life!
  • Avatar Megan Haller ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    One of the most painless experiences I've had. They came on time and was over the moon professional with still keeping a level of personability to it. The gentleman also went out of his way to say that my husband and Mines business … More was appreciated. Which is actually rare to be appreciated by such a great company. So thank you and we look forward to continuing services with this company.
  • Avatar Megan Magsam ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I am so happy we decided to go with cornerstone. They were quick and efficient. Shannon and the installer we very friendly. We got a lot of equipment and it was still within our budget. 10/10 would definitely recommend! Thank you
  • Avatar Collins Youngblood ★★★★★ a year ago
    Love the customer service and Shanon and his team go above and beyond for my restaurant. Couldn't of asked for a better security system and level of service that his team provides.
  • Avatar kanu patel ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I have been using Cornerstone Protection service for over 5 years and I'm really happy with the service and state-of-the-art equipments and it's futures are so much in advance and friendly, I highly recommend Cornerstone Protection … More Service any and all business that need a security protection days and nights specially after business hours(Cornerstone Protection is perfect solution for your business). Owner of Cornerstone Protection is proactive with their customers and their equipments. Good experienced with Cornerstone Protection!!!
    Kanu Patel
  • Avatar Liz Jones ★★★★ 2 years ago
    We had a very positive experience with Alissa as a tutor for our pod of 5th grade boys from January - June 2020. She cared a lot about the boys and worked hard to create meaningful activities for them. The pod experience was invaluable … More for all of our families during a difficult year and we were so grateful to have found this partnership! We also want to appreciate Craig for helping to match us with a tutor on very short notice after we had cycled through a few folks who were not able to see the commitment through. Thanks for sticking with us!
  • Avatar S CL ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Dusty was the exact person we needed to help our child finish out the school year. So grateful to him for the way he steadily encouraged her and helped her stay on track and organized. He is flexible, responsive to our needs/schedule as … More a family, and a delight to be with. We are also thankful that Craig at Themba Tutors really "gets it" and partnered us with such a wonderful tutor who was a great fit for our girl.
  • Avatar Nicole May ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    My child worked with Gillian D virtually for math enrichment. She is an excellent teacher. She took time to understand my child's specific learning style and provided tools that would be engaging. She was kind and empathetic- really … More made it her goal to connect with my child and build trust and rapport. My child started the school year with confidence and without the typically "brain-drain" that occurs over the summer, thanks to Gillian.
  • Avatar Gillian Davidoff ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    I am going into my second year as a Themba tutor. I have met so many great individuals while working for this company. Craig and the rest of the Themba team do such an excellent job picking and choosing Themba tutors that suit each client's … More individual needs! I look forward to meeting new tutors and clients in the 2021-2022 school year!
  • Avatar carolina luttmann ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Our son started in a new high school, 100% remote, and was really struggling with Latin and Physics. I found Themba Tudors online and had an initial call with Craig, who was very knowledgeable, responsive, and found 2 amazing tutors for … More us. Both the Latin and the physics tutors were fantastic, connected with my son really well and helped him go from 'failing' grade to 'honors'! I will for sure continue using (and recommending!) Themba Tutors. Thank you, C, K, and W!
  • Avatar Eric Fingerman ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Brian is a fantastic executive functioning coach. Super helpful, flexible with hours, and tailored the experience to our needs.
  • Avatar Susan Wong ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Giulia Mercuri is a great Italian tutor! She was very responsive and accessible. Giulia put a ton of effort into preparing for each session and really helped our son with test preparation and projects. We are grateful that she was able … More to help, especially since our son did not receive any live teaching during COVID. We are happy that she was referred to us!
  • Avatar Christine Gennetti ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    As an adult student diagnosed with a learning disability during grad school, I knew I needed help dealing with my Master's program's demanding workload. I was seriously considering dropping out when I was referred to Themba Tutors. … More I was paired up with a wonderful tutor, Julie, who was a total lifesaver. I learned many techniques that I can utilize in the future as I embark on the next phase of my career.
    I can wholeheartedly say after working with Themba for two years that I would not have finished my program without this organization. And I am so thankful I selected them.
  • Avatar Fabiola FITZPATRICK ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We were introduced to a wonderful tutor: Mcedwyn. He and our son, a freshman in college, worked well together. As a result, our son’s grades significantly improved. The tutor taught our son subject content and various methods to effectively … More study for quizzes and exams. Our son was also taught time management and organization. My son’s experience with the tutor made the first year of college a less intimidating experience.
  • Avatar Jude Eugene ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We have been with our tutor, Cailin Schiller, for two years, from 5th - 7th grade. She started as an executive functioning tutor with my daughter. From the start, she demonstrated a depth of expertise and a selective use of techniques skillfully … More adapted to my daughter’s ADHD and Math disability. Cailin made Math accessible and understandable to her in a way that even her teachers had not been able to do. She differentiated reading, writing and math tasks and assignments to tailor them to my daughter’s unique learning differences. Not only did it have an effect on her grades and her work efficiency, but she finally could do her work with less anxiety. Even my daughter’s teachers used Cailin’s guidance to modify their work with her. But most importantly, she became my daughter’s favorite resource. I can’t say how invaluable Cailin has been to my daughter’s progress and well-being. I’d recommend her a million times over. She is a gem.
  • Avatar Janice Eidus ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Victoria is a superb tutor. She helped my high school age daughter with her writing. Victoria's skills as a tutor, as well as her sense of humor and her engaging personality went a long way with my daughter.
  • A Google User ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Fara Jones ★★★★★ 5 years ago
    Themba Tutors provided a leaning specialist that was a perfect fit for my daughter. I told them what we were looking for and they delivered. Our tutor is responsive and flexible and makes it easy for my daughter to reach out to her own … More her own, which gives her an added sense of responsibility over her learning. As a therapist myself, I now regularly recommend Themba to my patients. A much needed and well provided service to the community!!
  • Avatar Frances Simpson ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Mary Jean Babic ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    I'm so glad we were referred to Themba Tutors. After a great initial conversation to learn our needs, we were connected with an excellent tutor, Felicia, who is helping our high school daughter learn better organizational and executive … More skills. Highly recommended.
  • Avatar Nina Herman ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    We had a wonderful experience with our tutor Micaela. She helped our son not only academically but at every level. We will be forever grateful to have her in our lives.
  • Avatar Frances ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    The tutors at Themba are fantastic! Caitlyn McNeill helped our son academically, but also with getting organized in every subject, which he so desperately needed. She offered great advice and useful strategies that helped our son become … More a more successful student. We are using Themba tutors again this year for our daughter. We're so happy to have been referred to them!
  • Avatar Michael Birnbaum ★★★★★ 4 years ago
    Paul Smith at Themba has been an exceptional tutor for my son, both in terms of teaching the subject matter and teaching how best to approach the process of learning math and executing assignments. We feel very fortunate to be working with … More Paul.
  • Avatar Monica Alzate ★★★★★ 5 years ago
    We were very lucky to have found Edwouine Swift, my son's therapist through Themba Tutors. Thomas is 12 years old, and it is extremely difficult to get him to write. Edwouine just works her magic with him, he adores her and is so … More eager to follow her guidance. I have no doubt she will be a positive driving force in his academic future.

THE GIFT OF RELATIONAL PRESENCE:

How to Connect with Your Tween

The Gift of Relational Presence

You know how it goes. Life moves fast, responsibilities pile up, and before you know it, weeks have gone by without really connecting with your tween. You want to be fully present for them during this formative time. Still, quality time together can feel like an unrealistic luxury between work, chores, and the nonstop activity of life. The truth is being relationally present for your child doesn’t require elaborate activities or perfectly uninterrupted blocks of time. It’s about creating moments of meaningful connection through being fully present – making eye contact, listening without distraction, affirming your thoughts and feelings, and sharing bits of yourself.

 

While life may not slow down anytime soon, with some intentionality, you can forge deeper bonds and build a lifetime of cherished memories with your tween during this season of growth and change. The gift of relational presence is one of our most precious gifts.

Understanding Relational Presence

Relational presence means being fully present with your tween. It’s about connecting with them through quality time, active listening, and open communication.

 

Make eye contact, give them your full attention, and listen without distractions when talking. Put away your phone and make conversation a priority. Ask open-ended questions about their life, friends, interests, and activities to start meaningful discussions. Listen to understand their perspective and share your experiences from when you were their age.

 

Do small things together like cooking a meal, exercising, gardening, or pursuing a hobby you both enjoy. Physical activities release endorphins that boost mood and bonding. Find opportunities for laughter and play. Engage in debates on issues they care about to challenge their thinking in a supportive way.

 

Express interest in the things they’re passionate about. Attend their sports games, plays, or other events when you can. Cheer them on and celebrate their achievements, big and small. Your presence and encouragement will mean the world.

 

Make time for regular check-ins to see how they’re doing and if they have any concerns. Be open and approachable so they feel comfortable coming to you if they struggle. Provide empathy, advice, and reassurance.

 

Relational presence is about the quality of time over quantity. Make the most of the moments you have together through active engagement. Your tweens will appreciate your efforts to truly see, hear, and understand them during this transitional stage of life. Strengthening your connection will benefit you both for years to come.

Practicing Active Listening With Your Tween

Connecting with your tweens and teens requires effort and patience, but it’s worth it. One of the best ways is through listening. Give your child full attention when they want to talk, make eye contact, and engage with follow-up questions.

 

As parents, ask your kids to regularly sit down together without distractions and start a genuine conversation. Ask open-ended questions about their friends, activities, and interests to get the ball rolling. Pay close attention to both their words and body language. Nod and make small verbal affirmations like “uh-huh” to show you’re listening.

 

Also, rephrasing what they’ve said to confirm your understanding. For example, say, “It sounds like you felt left out when your friends went to the park without inviting you.” Ask follow-up questions to ensure you have the full story before offering advice.

 

Take your time checking your phone or walking away. Make the time to engage with your tween actively. While it may initially feel unnatural, focusing on each other will help strengthen your connection and build trust.

 

With practice, active listening can become second nature. Your tween will appreciate your genuine interest and support. Strong communication and quality time together can make a difference during these formative years.

The Gift of Relational Presence

Making Time for Shared Activities

Making time for shared activities with your tween is one of the best ways to strengthen your connection. Set aside time each week to do something together that you both enjoy. Some options to consider:

  • Cook a meal together. Cooking side by side is a great opportunity for conversation. Let your tween pick out a recipe they want to try.
  • Play board games, video games, card games—whatever you both like. Laughter and friendly competition can bring you closer.
  • Get outside. Go for a walk or bike ride, play catch, fly kites, garden—being active together in nature is good for the body and soul.
  • Do a hobby you share. If you enjoy photography, art, woodworking, or whatever, set time aside to pursue that interest together.
  • Watch a show. Pick out a TV series to watch together each week. Curl on the couch, enjoy snacks, and bond over the story and characters.

 

The specific activity matters less than making the time to connect. Be fully present by putting away distractions. Ask open-ended questions to start a meaningful dialog. Share stories from your life and listen to your tween’s stories. Express interest in the things they care about.

 

Making relational presence a priority will help strengthen your bond during the ups and downs of the tween years. While it may require effort, the rewards of a close, trusting relationship with your child are well worth it.

Conclusion

So go ahead, put down your phone, and make eye contact. Ask questions and listen. Share stories from your life, too, not just interrogate them about theirs. Laugh together. Hug them if they’ll let you. The teen years will be over before you know it, so make the moments you have count. Give them the gift of your full attention and relational presence. Though it may not seem like it now, the effort you put in today to connect with your tween will shape the quality of your relationship for years to come. Your kids are worth it. Be there for them in the little moments and the big ones. Make connecting a priority, and the rest will follow.

Chat with Themba Tutors today.
We offer free 15-minute phone consultation.

FREE CONSULTATION!!!

Call: (917) 382-8641, Text: (833) 565-2370 

Email: [email protected]

(we respond to email right away!).

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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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