Parents are enjoying a revival of respect from authorities as significant contributors to their children’s learning. For many years parents suffered from low self-esteem and lack of confidence in their ability to teach their children.
Much of this was promoted by well-intentioned educators. Fortunately, this is changing, thanks to current research. The experts are now proclaiming what many people intuitively knew all along — that parents are the most significant people in their children’s lives.
It has been assumed by some people that the way children are educated is through contact with a professional in a classroom or a center. Burton White of Harvard says that is not the way it is going to happen, nor is it the way it should happen.
My earliest mentor was an artist named Esmé who lived up the street from my family. She would open her tiny art studio to a few neighborhood kids and let us do whatever we wanted. Esmé gave a few pointers and demonstrated some techniques, but for project ideas, she let us take the lead, offering only words of encouragement.
My parents still have some of my art from that time: painted plaster casts of toothpaste tubes inscribed with “Silly String,” glazed ceramic containers with no practical purpose, and many painted pet rocks. These experiences with Esmé had many impacts on me, influencing my choice of career as an artist and art therapist, my belief in the power of creative expression, and my strong support of mentoring young people.
Most of us can recall at least one adult who made us feel special, who nurtured our talents, who reinforced the idea that we were fine just the way we were. These people are mentors, whether in formal programs, at the workplace, or through an informal network of family and friends. In 2016, 3 million adults identified themselves as mentors to young people. One researcher lists 17.6 million additional American youth who want or need a mentor.
As preteens sort through sometimes conflicting messages from parents, peers, and media, it can be challenging to guide them down a path toward positive self-image and healthful eating and exercise habits. So learn all about preteens and Preteens – How to help them develop a Positive Self-Image.
At the November 1 Preteen Alliance luncheon, Ann Tipton, MD, an adolescent medicine specialist from Kaiser Permanente, and Amy Jussel, a media expert and executive director of Shaping Youth, offered tools to help parents and caregivers meet those challenges head-on.
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.
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.
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. Interesting is this Dr. Dehra Harris video about transitioning from elementary to middle school and the huge step is is for children toward independence:
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:
BeingGirl.com 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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.