5 strategies to help preteens overcome any obstacle

A coach stands with two children, offering guidance to overcome obstacle.

Preteens are at a stage in their lives when they start encountering a multitude of challenges and obstacles. From school pressures to peer dynamics and those ever-evolving emotions, it can be quite a rollercoaster ride for both you and your preteen. But don’t fret; we’ve got your back with five powerful strategies to help your preteen tackle any obstacle that comes their way.

1. Encourage open communication

You know, preteens don’t always spill the beans about how they’re feeling. But here’s the thing: it’s super important to have open conversations with them. Make sure they know they’ve got a safe space where their words are heard and valued. When they’re chatting about their day or pouring out their worries and dreams, be an active listener.

Life can throw some real curveballs, right? When that happens, have a chat about it. Ask questions, but don’t rush in with all the answers. Instead, help them figure things out on their own. Encourage them to be honest because they won’t be judged. This kind of talk builds trust and gives them the confidence to tackle challenges head-on.

The preteen years can feel like wandering through a maze. Hormones are doing their thing, and they’re discovering their independence, which can lead to some emotional roller coasters. But remember, this is when they’re shaping who they are and what they believe in.

By keeping the lines of communication open, you’re building a strong bond with your child. It’s not just about hearing their everyday stories. It’s about making room for those deeper talks, like bullying, peer pressure, or school struggles. Letting them express themselves shows that you get them and that you’re the one they can trust with their concerns.

And here’s the cool part: it’s a two-way street. Share your own experiences when it makes sense. It helps them feel more comfortable opening up. The goal is to create an environment where they know they can turn to you for guidance, knowing they won’t be judged or criticized.


2. Teach resilience and problem-solving

Resilience? Oh, it’s like having a secret superpower that you can totally develop. Imagine it as your ability to bounce back when life throws some curveballs your way. And trust me, life can be a rollercoaster with its ups and downs. Sometimes you ace things like work projects or make awesome new friends, but other times, you face disappointments or conflicts with people.

But here’s the cool part: resilience is what helps you bounce back from those tough moments. It’s like a skill that can be your sidekick for life. So, when you stumble, remember, it’s not a fail. It’s a chance to grow and become even stronger.

Now, when you’re helping someone build their resilience, don’t be the hero who swoops in to save the day. Instead, be their trusty guide. Encourage them to break down their problems into smaller, manageable bits. Ask them questions like, “What could you do differently?” or “What options do you see here?” By doing this, you’re letting them take the reins and become the heroes of their own challenges.

And here’s the bonus: building resilience also makes you more independent. When you learn how to overcome obstacles by yourself, you gain confidence and a sense of control. You realize you’ve got what it takes to handle whatever life tosses your way, and that’s a super valuable skill to have.

3. Foster a growth mindset

Have you ever heard of something called a growth mindset? It’s basically believing that you can get better at stuff if you put in the effort and keep going, even when you make mistakes.

So, here’s the deal: when you see your preteens trying hard at something, give them a pat on the back. Tell them how awesome it is that they’re putting in the work and trying different things. And remember, making mistakes is totally cool. It’s like a chance to learn and get even better.

Having a growth mindset is like having a secret superpower. It helps preteens see challenges as opportunities to grow and not as roadblocks. It makes them feel brave enough to take on new stuff and think of effort as a way to get better.

In real life, this means you cheer them on for the effort they’re putting in and how far they’ve come, not just when they win big. If they’re facing something tough, remind them that they can tackle it with some persistence and by trying different approaches. For example, if they’re having a hard time with a school subject, tell them how proud you are of their studying and problem solving skills, no matter what their grades are.


4. Promote healthy coping mechanisms

Life can be a real whirlwind sometimes, right? We all need some good ways to handle stress, no matter how old we are. Tell them to try stuff like sports, art, or even mindfulness – things that can help them deal with stress and their feelings.

You know what else is important? Taking care of themselves and knowing when they’re feeling super overwhelmed. When they recognize those moments, they can figure out how to deal with them in a healthy way. These tricks will help them tackle tough stuff with a smile.

Stress is just one of those things that everyone deals with. But how you handle it can really make a difference in how you feel. Suggest trying out activities that make them feel better, like playing sports, making music, drawing, or even giving yoga or meditation a shot.

The secret is to help them find what clicks best for them. Maybe they’ll feel at peace with a paintbrush, or perhaps they’ll find their groove on the soccer field. It’s all about trying things out and seeing what helps them chill out and deal with stress.

And besides all that, remind them about taking care of themselves. Like getting enough sleep, eating good food, and drinking water – those basics can really help when things get tough.

Oh, and here’s another cool tip: help them get in touch with their feelings. When they know what’s stressing them out and how they’re feeling, they can deal with stuff better. Whether it’s chatting with someone they trust or trying out mindfulness stuff, it’ll help them handle the ups and downs of life like a champ.


5. Set realistic expectations

Preteens, they’re on this journey of figuring things out, right? So, let’s not put too much pressure on them to be perfect. What really matters is their personal growth.

We can help them by setting goals that make sense, stuff they’re interested in and good at. And when they achieve even the tiniest victories, let’s celebrate them. It could be anything – from school stuff to making new friends. Every step forward is worth a high-five.

See, preteens are still discovering who they are and what they love. So, let’s not expect them to do things that are too tough for where they’re at. It’s not about lowering our standards but making sure our expectations match their age and stage in life.

Tell them to set their own goals, based on what they like and what they’re good at. Whether it’s getting better at something they enjoy or trying something new, let it be their thing. This way, they feel like they’re in charge and have the motivation to go after what they want.

And remember, when they stumble, we’re here to lift them up. We can cheer them on, remind them that making mistakes is totally okay, and that’s how we learn and get even better. With these realistic expectations and support, we’re giving them the foundation to grow and believe in themselves.

Preteens face numerous obstacles as they transition into adolescence, but with your guidance and these five strategies, they can overcome any challenge that comes their way. Encouraging open communication, teaching resilience, fostering a growth mindset, promoting healthy coping mechanisms, and setting realistic expectations will equip your preteen with the skills and mindset they need to tackle life’s hurdles head-on.

Remember, it’s all about nurturing their growth and helping them become resilient, confident, and capable individuals ready to face whatever obstacles life throws their way. So, gear up for this exciting journey, because with your support, your preteen is unstoppable!