Helping Your Preteen Develop Healthy, Meaningful Interests
By helping your preteen find healthy interests and get involved in positive activities, you help him discover things about himself that define and shape who he is. Interests and hobbies help preteens develop self-esteem, confidence, and also help them build important relationships with friends who share the same interests. Help your preteen develop healthy interests. Even if you do not share the same interests, help your preteen develop healthy interests by appreciating his interests, encouraging him to pursue them, and praising him when he has accomplished something that is important to him.
Your Preteen and the Power of Books
Preteens become more curious about the world around them, more aware of the activities and lifestyle of teenagers, and see themselves as part of this whole, new, happening scene. Preteens benefit from books that tell stories about their peers. Reading books with your preteen that portray his own experiences, the experiences of his friends at this age as well as those of teenagers is a great way to discuss behavior, teach understanding, and prepare your preteen for what can be a stressful time in his life full of choices, actions, and consequences.
- Go to the library or bookstore and pick up age-appropriate books for your preteen. Get one for yourself too and read together with your preteen. Discuss the characters and actions in the story.
- Bring books on trips so your preteen can read as you travel or when you have some downtime.
- Keep a journal while visiting relatives or traveling, record events, funny stories, what you liked and didn't like, and observations. Have your preteen keep a journal as well. Compare journal entries.
- Go to the library together and browse the stacks. See what books interest your preteen and show him which books interest you.
- Clip articles from the newspaper and leave them for your preteen to read. Write, “Thought you might find this interesting,” at the top and then talk about it later. Have your preteen read the article to you, or you read it aloud to him.
- Order a magazine subscription for your preteen and leaf through each edition together.