Helping Your Preteen Develop Healthy, Meaningful Interests
By helping your preteen find healthy interests and get involved in positive activities, you help her discover things about herself that define and shape who she is. Interests and hobbies help preteens develop self-esteem, confidence, and also help them build important relationships with friends who share the same interests. Even if you do not share the same interests, help your preteen develop healthy interests by appreciating her interests, encouraging her to pursue them, and praising her when she has accomplished something that is important to her.
Your Preteen and Music
As children move into their preteen years, they leave behind those childhood songs. Their interest turns to what the older kids are listening to and the music they hear on the radio, television, or in video games. Now your preteen is choosing her own musical style. Music can be very personal and defining. Help your preteen settle on a style that truly suits her. Expose your preteen to all types of music—jazz, classic rock, blues, disco, rap, hip-hop, opera, and whatever you like. Talk about the music she likes and why and ask her to help you understand the music she likes.
- Don't complain or bad mouth her choice of music no matter how bad the music might seem to you. Remember it can be extremely personal and part of her identity.
- Listen to your preteen's music together.
- Foster your preteen's interest in making music – encourage her to learn to sing or play an instrument.
- Talk about the lyrics, any risky language, and what she thinks about it. Is it appropriate? Discuss the fame that comes for the artists and their behavior, both good and bad, in public. Find out why she likes some musicians and singers more than others.
- Provide your preteen with books about the history of modern music so she can understand musical roots and the history of a relatively new, but always changing industry.
- Remember what is a golden oldie to you might be new to your preteen's ears. Reminisce with your preteen about where you were when you first heard your favorite song when you were her age.