5 Things Every Preteen Needs to Succeed

Physical play with your preteen helps keep your attachment bond strong. (And release some frustration!!)

5 Things Every Teen Needs to Succeed

1. Every preteen needs recognition

Feeling ignored and invisible is a huge black hole for the preteen. Their wanting to excel in something, wanting to stand out, wanting you to take notice is a desire that runs deep. They are yearning for the words of affirmation, the recognition and the praise. Attention grabs them.

  • Be a stronger force than negative influences.
2. Every preteen needs guidance of wise adults. When they flat reject your guidance, they are not desiring a cut off relationship to you. As much as they may protest or say they do not love or want you, they do. They needthe umbilical cord of guidance, wisdom and love to stay intact.
  • Without you they will self destruct. Your presence in their life is the lighthouse for them when the storms get crazy.
3. Every preteen needs a whole community of adults that care about their well being. You cannotalways be in tune with their needs. You get sick, stuck in traffic, overwhelmed with your own needs.
  • Having a substitute available to be the adult that is present for your preteen is a must.
4. Every teen needs the opportunity to explore who they are. This can come in reading, list making, surveys, writing, art, expressing themselves in their sport and pushing themselves to their limits, exploring what they like, what their strengths are, and who they is attractive to them. This is the process of forming their identity.
  • Who are they in and of themselves when separated from their family?
  • This is their developmental stage and necessary before beginning another family unit.
5. Every preteen needs nurturing and encouragement If they have verbal,emotional or physical abuse in their early childhood they may have a negative self concept. Nurture affirms that the preteen's discomfort and pain are real.  Without nurture, they feel they are unworthy of love. They feel like they cannot trust their mind or express their feelings. They feel not worth people’s time.
  • Abuse in childhood causes teens to harbor stress in their bodies. This stress kept inside causes physical discomforts. Embarrassing situations or further trauma can really draw this out of them.
  • An example of this... A teen who is insecure falls on the field at a soccer game. She expresses that she broke her foot and demands a trip to the ER to have it looked at. 
  • Her embarrassment causes her to seek a physical solution to a pain that is emotional. The pain for her is so intense that it feels tangible. It may also be that these teens are more prone to injuries because they are not integrated mind and body. Thus when the routine on the field or on the stage does not go as planned, they have less resiliency to land on their feet. This is a great foreshadowing to their life.
What is one way you can execute one of these points today with your preteen?

In summary, every preteen needs support. They need encouragement that great results come after many failures. Encourage them to keep trying and be gentle with themselves.
  • They need your voice in their head saying, "You are valuable, tenacious, and worthy of success."
  • We can start the process of counseling this week if you think your teenager needs a therapist on their team.
  • Call 357-0536 to schedule!