Tips for Parenting Preteens

It can be challenging for parents to stay connected with their kids as they get closer to their teens and start to become increasingly independent, but it is crucial at this point.

At this stage in their lives, an increasing social life, new interests and school activities will be more important to your children but you as a parent are still an anchor that provides support, guidance, and love. That connection gives your kids a feeling of security and will help make your child resilient enough to deal with the ups and downs of life. This article explains in detail what physical and mental changes you can expect in your preteens and how you help them to go through this developmental stage healthily.

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10 Tips for Parenting Preteens

It is common for preteens to act embarrassed about you as their parent or act as if they don’t want guidance. This is the age when they start to talk to their peers more and want privacy and space. It is important to not take the changes personally as they are simply signs of increasing independence. You need to give your preteen room to grow.

1. Model Good Qualities

Try modeling qualities you want your preteen to have such as fulfilling their daily responsibilities, eating healthy, being kind, and communicating respectfully. This will make them more likely to comply.

2. Schedule Family Meals

Schedule family meals where everyone eats together at least once a week. Try to get everyone involved and make it fun for your kids to participate in.

3. Goodnight and Bedtime

Even if you aren’t tucking your child into bed anymore, try to get them a consistent schedule where they go to bed at the same time. You can also do winding-down activities together such as talking about the day.

4. Share Time

Find some smaller activities that you can do with your preteen such as walking the dog, making cookies, or watching a movie or TV show. This will give your child a chance to talk about what’s going on. Some preteens are more likely to talk about problems while you are in the car driving.

5. Make Special Time

Try to celebrate small occasions such as winning soccer games or getting a good report card. This will improve your family bonds.

6. Show Affection

Don’t be surprised if your preteen doesn’t want to show affection (or receive it) in public, but don’t take this personally. Simply go with a wave or smile when in public and leave the hugs or kisses for when you are in private. Or take the time to compliment them on their skills.

7. Be Involved

As your preteen gets more involved, try to stay involved in their activities. Try to attend sports practices or games if you can and talk to your kid about disappointments.

8. Be Interested

Try to keep an interest in what your preteen is doing. You can better provide support if you know what is going on in their lives.

9. Encourage Healthy Eating

During puberty, your child will have a bigger appetite. Try to meet their nutritional needs by eating healthy, encouraging them to make healthy food choices when eating out, and giving them options for healthy foods (and beverages) at home.

10. Deal with the Problems for Parenting Preteens

As parents for teens, you should consider what pads to use in your preteen girl, how to help them deal with peer pressure, how to transition to middle school, and how to get them to listen,ect.The following video shares parenting strategies and tips for tweens & teens from experts and an experienced parent:

Know the Physical and Emotional Changes in Preteens

The preteen stage is also called tween stage, usually between 10-12 years old. A lot of things are going on in there body and mind and knowing the changes can help you better cope with your preteens.

Changes in Preteen Boys

Height

Some boys will grow slowly over a period of time while others get growth spurts and shoot right up. Most growth spurts last two or three years, but they can take a while to happen in some boys.

Acne

Hormones in the body make acne pop up on the back, chest, or face. Keeping the skin clean can help reduce it.

Hair on Different Body Parts

Boys will start to grow hair under their armpits, on their legs, and by the pubic area. This is completely normal and the only difference (other than appearance) is the possibility of slight itching.

Smells

Throughout puberty, the glands produce more chemicals that cause foul odors so boys may get a bit smellier. Daily showers as well as deodorants with antiperspirants can help. Showering after sports is especially important.

Erections

Erections are when the penis fills with blood and hardens. These may happen randomly or because of thoughts of a sexual nature. Boys can also have “wet dreams” which include erections and ejaculating semen.

Body Shape and Voice Change

It is normal for boys’ body shape to change as well. The chest may get bigger while the shoulders broaden. The voice might get deeper or crack. The penis will also grow wider and longer while the testes get bigger.

Emotional Changes

In some cases it becomes much harder for boys going through puberty to control their emotions as they feel more strongly than before.

Breast Changes

It is possible for boys to temporarily develop breasts (pubertal gynecomastia) along with pain or tenderness. Despite this, boys will not usually develop permanent breasts. You can always visit your doctor if you are concerned.

Changes in Preteen Girls

First Period

This usually occurs between 10 and 16 and a half.

Underarm Hair

This usually develops about 2 years after the pubic hair begins growing.

Breast Changes

Breasts will generally grow between ages 8 and 13 and then continue to develop during puberty. At first the areolas will grow and then breast tissue will form underneath the nipple. At the end of breast development, the breasts are distinct with the areola not seeming swollen. The size of developed breasts will vary greatly between women.

Pubic Hair

Most girls notice their pubic hair starting to grow between ages 8 and 14. It begins by the vaginal lips and then gets coarser and darker, growing in the shape of an inverted triangle. In some cases the hair will go to the inner thighs also.

Height

Most girls notice body growth starting between 9 and a half and 14 years. In general you will grow around 3.5 inches each year but it won’t happen uniformly. First your feet, hands, and head will grow and then the legs and arms will, and finally the shoulders and torso will.

Weight

As your girl increases in height, she will also gain weight. This is necessary for getting her first period, growing taller and developing breasts.

Sweat and Acne

At around the same time that underarm hair starts growing, the oil and sweat glands will also develop. When the glands clog, acne develops. The best way to avoid breakouts is washing the face twice each day.

Watch the following video to learn what exactly preteens are thinking and how you can cope with your preteens as a parent: