Bar Bat Mitzvah Help: Battling with your tween

Battling with One's Tween

As the mother said to her tween (but not out loud), "How do I annoy thee? Let me count the ways." Alas, there's no shortage of conflict zones one can encounter while planning a B Mitzvah with the person who used to be your darling child but has somehow morphed into a hormone-filled, homework-addled, seventh-grade-social-scene-suffering tweenager. Here are some typical intergenerational B Mitzvah-related blow-ups families have experienced:

  • Mom wants to see her daughter allocate 15 minutes a day to practicing her prayers and Torah portion. Daughter assures Mom she's doing it -- but Mom sees no evidence of it. Daughter, slamming door (her new hobby), insists Mom stop "hounding" her.

  • Mom and Dad want an afternoon party for the entire guest list, with a Yiddish-flavored klezmer band; son, declaring klezmer = social suicide, insists on a teens-only party in a nightclub.

  • Mom wants a tasteful, subtle invitation by Crane's. Daughter demands a 3D velour-and-glitter invite with a scented tassel.

  • Son wants to invite the entire grade to the party. Family budget says no.

    The B Mitzvah process entails making several dozen decisions and it's great when you all agree. But what about when you don't? Negotiating between your family's varying desires, tastes and expectations doesn't have to be a recipe for disaster.

    We asked several renowned child psychologists, family therapists and party planners to weigh in.

    Read what experts suggest for improving parent-tween communication.

    Learn how seasoned party planners navigate parent-tween showdowns.