Preteen “Tween” years can be very stressful and overwhelming for many of our youngsters.
The stress of entering puberty and handling this new rush of hormones along with the navigation through friendships, peer “drama” and developing social skills can really take a toll.
Not to mention, many of our children are trying to manage the academic pressures of testing and high school admittance.
Sometimes, tweens may find it difficult to generate “coping skills” when already emotional or stressed out. Therefore, it is helpful to have a “tool box” of coping skills that can be beneficial in times of need, whether it is to help them stay calm or even just have a distraction.
Here are just a few ideas that tend to be popular for this age group, tweens:
- Coloring/Mandala coloring sheets
- Listening to music
- Going for a walk/walking the dog/any sort of exercise
- Reading a book
- Watching a movie
- Arts and crafts
- Talking to a friend
- Playing a game
- Using “fidgets” or stress balls/Silly Putty
- Taking 5 deep breaths
- Counting to 10
Parents, it is important to acknowledge "tween" stressors. Even if your kids try to downplay them, make sure you talk about these stressors, be supportive, provide ample opportunity to de-stress (using some of the ideas above), and be sure your kids know you are there for them when they need you.
Posted by Shawna Paplaski, LCPC