Helping Your Pre-teen Develop Healthy, Meaningful Interests
By helping your pre-teen 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 pre-teens develop self-esteem, confidence, and also help them build important relationships with friends who share the same interests. Help your pre-teen develop healthy interests. Even if you do not share the same interests, help your pre-teen 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 Pre-teen and the Power of Books
Pre-teens 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. Pre-teens benefit from books that tell stories about their peers. Reading books with your pre-teen 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 pre-teen 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 pre-teen. Get one for yourself too and read together with your pre-teen. Discuss the characters and actions in the story.
- Bring books on trips so your pre-teen 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 pre-teen keep a journal as well. Compare or read aloud each other's journal entries.
- Go to the library together and browse the stacks. See what books interest your pre-teen and show him which books interest you.
- Clip articles from the newspaper and leave them for your pre-teen to read. Write, “Thought you might find this interesting,” at the top and then talk about it later. Have your pre-teen read the article to you, or you read it aloud to him.
- Order a magazine subscription for your pre-teen and leaf through each edition together.