Tween-Ager Anxiety: How Parents Can Help

Kids are tweens by age 11 or 12 — transitional years from childhood to teenager. Kids often struggle as they experience rapid changes, new emotions and challenges they’re not quite ready to handle.

In fact, many of today’s kids are living with daily stress and anxiety from an increasingly demanding, complicated society.

Signs for concern: Your tween displays unusual disrespect, emotional outbursts, disobedience or belligerence, or appears depressed, antisocial and isolated from friends and family. At this stage, kids may seek answers or comfort in smoking, substance abuse or extensive screen time.

Cyberbullying is an increasing scenario among tweens and teens that uses digital communication to malign others. Examples: sending hurtful texts or instant messages, posting embarrassing photos or video on social media, and spreading damaging false rumors online or with phones.

The most important thing you can do as a parent is to stay observant and set aside time often to be with your children. Be persistent; reassure them of your love and support and ability to make life easier, provided they stay connected.

Together, create a plan your kids can use to resolve issues. Example: To combat the effects of cyberbullying, advise your child to actively step away from social media each day and take structured breaks from worries in general to refocus and find ways to enjoy themselves. 

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