Parenting Preteens

Parenting Preteens

Things Not to Miss with Your Preteen 

Navigating the preteen years is a crucial phase for parents, shaping the emotional and mental well-being of their children. There are 156 Saturdays between the ages of 11 and 14. These weeks go by in a flash as preteens start gravitating toward spending more time with peers and less time with their families. Embrace the middle school years and be intentional about ways to continue to nurture your child and teach them skills for their future. 

Let’s explore key aspects to consider during this transitional period. Quality time remains important. Engaging in shared activities provides an avenue to reinforce family values which may foster open communication about honesty, kindness, and faith. As preteens mature, allow the conversation to delve into deeper topics about spirituality and life, utilizing late-night discussions as opportunities to share your thoughts and answer their questions.  

Addressing insecurities and self-image is vital during this phase. Support your preteen's self-esteem by providing resources for grooming, dressing, fitness, and social skills. Channeling their boundless energy into responsibilities like house cleaning or yard work not only provides a constructive outlet but instills a sense of accomplishment. In addition, consider encouraging hobbies, passions, or community involvement. Cultivating empathy and compassion through community service or volunteer activities contributes to their social responsibility and creates a feeling of connectedness toward a greater goal.  

Prioritizing healthy habits, such as a well-rounded diet and sufficient sleep, contributes significantly to mental health. Clear rules and consequences help preteens understand the importance of responsible behavior while celebrating achievements further supports their self-esteem. This age group needs a lot of guidance in time management and extra supervision with digital engagement and safety. Financial literacy becomes relevant as well; introduce concepts like maintaining a debit card or bank account and understanding the importance of responsible financial habits. Establishing age-appropriate responsibilities aids in developing independence and decision-making skills. 

Remember, you're not alone on this journey, and staying connected with your pediatrician, your child’s teachers and other supportive adults in your child’s life can further enhance your child's overall well-being. Make the most of these years, remembering that the time you put in now toward teaching these skills will be carried with them forever as they grow into functioning, contributing adults.  


  1. Bulimwengu AS, Cartmel J. The tween years: A systematic literature review for services for children aged 10-13 years. Heliyon. 2022 Jan 23;8(1):e08822. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e08822. PMID: 35128107; PMCID: PMC8810366.

  2. Garey, J. (2023). Parenting Tweens: What You Should Know Explaining the challenges of early adolescence.