Preteens – How to help them become independent

Like many people, I remember the first time my dad took the training wheels off my bike. With a mix of fear, excitement, and adrenalin, I started out slowly and wobbly down the street, my dad jogging along beside me. I kept looking over to make sure he was there in case I lost control. He was, and I felt reassured.

As I straightened the wheels out a bit and picked up the pace, however, I suddenly looked over and realized he was not there and promptly fell off my bike. I sat there on the hard sidewalk inspecting my scratches as he ran up to me. He asked me what happened. Why did you stop?

I wailed back, you were not there. Where did you go? He explained to me that I was doing fine, and I did not need him. And then, he did the most important thing. He made me get back up on my bike and try again.

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Preteens and their Important Questions

Am I normal?
Do I fit in? Should I fit in?
Why do I feel the way I do?
When do I have to start worrying about taxes?

These are some of the “Important Questions on the Minds of Preteens” addressed by Rob Lehman, MD, and Julie Metzger, RN, MN, at Preteen Alliance luncheons held in August and September. So let’s go a little deeper into Preteens and their important questions.

Both luncheons were extremely popular, with long waiting lists. Rob and Julie, who run a series of workshops for preteens and parents at both Seattle Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, shared insights into how preteens think.

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Preteen Support – the Encouragement Approach

A very important part of preteen support is the Encouragement Approach. This helps preteens to recognize their efforts and improvements through such communication as:

“It looks like you’ve worked really hard on that.”
“It looks like you’ve spent much time thinking this through.”
“I see that you’re moving along.”
“Look at your progress!”  (Tell how, be specific)
“You’re improving in…” (be specific)
“You may feel you’ve not reached your goal, but see how far you’ve made it!”

See also this video about how your teenager’s brain functions:

Note of caution…These and the other encouraging communications we have been learning can be discouraging to children when we use them with an “I told you so” or arrogant attitude.  Avoid giving with one hand and taking away with the other.  In other words, avoid qualifying or moralizing comments.

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Preteens and the Transition to Middle School

The transition from elementary school to middle school is one of the most significant changes in a child’s educational life. So keep reading to learn more about Preteens and the Transition to Middle School.

The transition is magnified because preteens are faced with the many major structural differences between elementary and middle school at the very time that their bodies and emotions are changing at the most rapid rates of their lives.

By understanding the following points about the nature of preteens entering middle school, parents can turn this challenging transition into a positive foundation for future interactions with their children:

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Get Your Teen Things They Actually Want

We get it. Shopping for teens these days is tricky business. What’s even cool anymore? Whether you’re shopping for the perfect birthday present or just looking to surprise your teen, show your love with one of these teen-friendly gifts. We swear they’ll like at least one of them.

On a Roll

Teens with an affinity for extreme sports will appreciate a gift that appeals to their no-fear attitude, like a new skateboard. The retailer CCS makes it easy to purchase a new skate deck and all of the fixings that go along with the board. Plus, you can order online, so you don’t have to wander into the local skate shop. And you can enjoy free shipping and returns on all orders from the website. If you’re skeptical about purchasing a skateboard for your son or daughter, don’t worry — CCS also offers helmets and pads to keep your teen injury-free.

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Tips To Help Your Teen Find A Vacation Job

Summer vacation isn’t coming up yet, but your teenager is already talking about getting a job. After spending the last few summers watching your kiddo sleep until noon, texting his or her friends for hours at a time and struggling to do the most basic chores, you could not be happier about your teen’s desire to work.

In order to help your teenager find a great job that suits his or her personality and navigate the often-stressful hiring process, check out these tips and ideas:

Help your teen identify good job opportunities

In the world of teenage employment, some jobs are definitely better than others. While some teens are happy to bag groceries at the nearest supermarket, others would like to work at a hotel, summer camp program or local hardware store. Talk with your teen about different jobs to try to figure out which positions might be best.

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Insight into the Teenage Brain

The teenage brain is really good at seeking out new experiences, enjoying thrills and seeking out risks, says  Adriana Galván – Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Research Institute at UCLA.

As teens grow and develop, it can be tempting to assume that they can think and behave just like adults. A little bit of time with a teen, however, can starkly demonstrate just how differently they think and act, and it is all due to brain development.

The Teenaged Brain

A brain is like a complicated entertainment system that includes the cable box, television, blue-ray player, and surround sound that is all connected through wires. For adults, the parts of the brain work together using a similar system of wires called synapses.

The teenaged brain, however, has all of the parts, just not all of the wires are hooked up. There may be too many input and output jacks in some places and not enough in others. Plus, teens have the distinct disadvantage of experiencing brain development from the back of the brain to the front.

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When to Worry About Your Preteen

Before you know it your preteen child will begin to transform into an adolescent. Just as you watched your baby learn to walk and talk, you’ll watch your preteen walk a little further away from you and begin to talk about video games, clothes, music, and being cool.

When children enter puberty it’s hard to know when emotional intensity and mood swings are part of the normal changes of puberty or signs of more serious issues such as depression and anxiety.

During the early preteen years your child might still tell you what’s going on, but as preteens travel on the road to becoming a teenager, and behaviors start to change, it’s common for parents to lose sleep thinking about all of the things that could go wrong.

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Companies build teen communities around products is not your typical teen community Website. Like lots of others, it offers predictable teen fare about boys and articles about how to clear up acne. But it also features dancing tampons and flying feminine-protection products.

These hygiene-products-turned-characters wear capes and masks and dance around the screen to a techno-beat. Dubbed “The Super Fems,” and individually named “Captain Maxi,” “Super Tampon” and “Wonder Liner” – they are a dead giveaway that there’s something more to this site than teen high jinks and gossip.

That something more is Procter & Gamble. In New York, they focused also on teens that needed to complete the New York State Regents exam or the TASC exam (previously GED) and the struggle they experienced in order to continue their education at college or university. Very successful!

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Creating a Study Nook You Can Enjoy

One of the problems most young people have to deal with at home is finding a great place to study. Since many people feel that there is no space in their homes for a study nook, they often end up studying at the dining table, the kitchen table or on the couch using the coffee table. This can make it difficult to concentrate on your studies if the TV is on, or someone is preparing dinner.

If you do not live in a college dorm where a desk is often provided, creating a study area in the home does not have to take too much space. However, you may have to de-clutter in order to create the space that you need. One of the best ways to de-clutter is to get rid of any old textbooks that you may have sitting on the shelf or some other space that you could convert into a study area.

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Great Classroom Decorating Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

Every teacher, whatever age group or subject he or she teaches, strives all the time to make the learning experience they give their students the best one they possibly can. Coming up with new classroom decorating ideas every school year is usually something a lot of teachers find themselves trying to do all summer long. So let’s take a look here at some ideas about great classroom decorations that won’t break the bank.


Great Classroom Decorating Ideas for Teachers – Best Use of Bulletin Boards

The bulletin boards in any classroom are a crucial part of the overall décor scheme and the perfect place to execute classroom decorations ideas. Posters, photographs charts, and seasonal decorations are all popular items for teachers to display on a bulletin board, even if they are responsible for teaching high school students.

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