Supporting Your Preteen As She Transitions From Childhood to Adolescence

Preteens are transitioning from childhood to adolescence, often experiencing significant emotional and physical changes such as the start of puberty. This period is sometimes known as middle childhood or preadolescence.

The tween or preteen age range encompasses those between 9-12, and as such is studied under girlhood studies, childhood studies, media studies and gender studies. Scholars have extensively explored this period’s use for marketing purposes – McRobbie 2000 features chapters that address young girls’ cultures and subcultures while Mitchell & Kaiser 2004 and Coulter 2014 offer wider examinations of tween as an emerging category within commercial discourse.

To encourage independence in your preteen, show an interest in their ideas and feelings while listening without judgment. When your preteen shares with you a difficult situation or challenge, resist the urge to solve it for them instead of telling them you will always be available when help is needed in the future. Be sure to attend their activities when possible and cheer them on when they succeed while remaining empathetic when they miss a goal or lose the game – this will teach them how to cope with setbacks more easily.