Things Tweens Worry About

If your tween seems worried, this may be to blame

School stress can cause anxiety for your tween.
School problems could be to blame for your child's anxiety. Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Skynesher

 Growing up is no easy task, and the preteen years can be especially difficult as your child tries to determine her surroundings, and her place in her changing world. Your tween will likely experience anxiety from time to time, and worry about things you might not even think about. Below is a short list of possible sources of your tween's worrying, to help you help your child cope and move on. 

Possible Sources of Your Tween's Concern

Being Embarrassed: You may never think twice about whether or not a certain pair of shoes or a certain handbag might cause you to be embarrassed in front of others, but tween worry about these things all the time. Will they be teased or taunted. Will somebody make fun of his hair, or the fact that she's wearing something that's out of style? Allow your child to make certain decisions regarding clothes and such, but also try to keep your tween from being too label crazy. Point out that fads come and go, and that it's silly and pointless to try to constantly keep up with them. Also offer tips on how to defend against stupid remarks from friends or fellow students.

Not Understanding Class Assignments: Keeping up with schoolwork can be a source of anxiety for your growing child. Middle school can be quite a transition from elementary school, even for very responsible and conscientious students.

Help your child stay on top of school homework and assignments and let your tween know you are available to help tutor or review difficult material. If you think your child is struggling, it might be time to discuss your concerns with his teacher. 

Being Left Out: Social inclusion is a huge concern during the tween years, and if your child was left out of a party or other social event, she could be stewing about it.

Help your tween make a broad circle of friends so that she has friends at school, friends in the neighborhood and friends maybe at church or through other activities. If your child experiences rejection but has other friends to turn to, she will recover much quicker and her worries will slowly fade away. 

Family Disruptions: Family life can cause anxiety for all involved, and your tween is no exception to that. If your family is going through tough times due to a divorce, a death in the family, a move, or some other problem, your tween will likely feel out of sorts, just as you do. Getting through tough times together and sharing your feelings can be enough to help your tween move past sadness and disruptions. Serious situations might require the assistance of a professional family counselor.

Being Normal -- Health Issues: Tweens may worry about things that aren't even on your radar. She might worry about puberty, and what's considered normal. He might worry that daily headaches indicate a serious health condition.

Try to stay in tune with your child changing and growing body and address any concerns quickly, so that your child doesn't spend too much time dwelling on them. All the growing and maturity that your tween will go through in the next few years are new to him, so he has no reference as to what's normal, and what isn't. 

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