7 Tips for Helping Tweens Through Life Transitions

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The tween years are difficult years. When we think of childhood transitions, we often think of Kindergarten or teen year transitions, but the tween years often aren’t mentioned. The truth is these children are in an awkward positions. They aren’t “little kids” anymore, but they aren’t teenagers yet either. My daughters are 10 and 11 and it absolutely blows me away how one minute they seem like they are still so young…and then in the next minute it’s like I am getting a glimpse at a miniature adult. If I notice these things I can only imagine how confusing {and frustrating} it must be for them.

Add in major {or even typical} life transitions to the mix and their poor little emotions can easily spiral out of control. Our job as a parent is to ease the transition and help them to process their thoughts and feelings.

7 Ways to Help Tweens Through Life Transitions

There are so many transitions your tween could be facing:

  • a big move
  • changing schools
  • changing grades
  • a new sibling
  • the death of a family member or friend
  • the death of a pet
  • joining a new sports team
  • onset of puberty
  • loss of a friendship

The list goes on and on. The truth is somethings that we might not even consider a difficult transition could be a huge deal in their eyes. We, as parents, need to know exactly how we can help guide our tweens through these transitions.

7 Tips for Helping Tweens Through Life Transitions

  1. Give them information. They can handle it. The more information you can share with them, they better their response will be. In the age of technology in which we live, they are going to find the information they are seeking on way or another. It will greatly help your child if the information comes from Mom or Dad rather than Google.
  2. Listen to their concerns. Really, truly listen. This is difficult for me. As a mom, I just want to jump right in and fix whatever might be troubling my child, so I will often formulate my response as they are talking. Sound familiar? Your child can see you doing this. They know if you are truly listening or not. Listen to them. Let them know that their concerns are being heard and are valid. Then, if appropriate, offer guidance and suggestions. If not, just letting them know they have been heard will help them to feel a little better.
  3. Give them a sense of security. If possible, try to keep things at home close to normal. When other areas in their lives are changing, give them something constant. Make sure that they know you are there for them no matter what else is going on.
  4. Check your attitude. Are you stressed? Are you being positive? Are you being dismissive of their feelings? Positive attitudes can be contagious. The same goes for negative attitudes. Showing your child how to remain positive in the face of change and adversity is a skill that will benefit them for the rest of the lives.
  5. Encourage journaling. Or drawing. Or another creative outlet that allows them to express their emotions. My oldest daughter is an anxious child by nature. Whenever she is going through a difficult period, I find her writing in her journal at bedtime each night. Writing helps her to process her feelings. Might this be a help to your child as well?
  6. Pray with and for them. Let your child hear you praying for him. Ask her if you can pray with her. Prayer eases anxiety.
  7. Give them resources. I have found that by finding resources {stories/articles, etc} about children who are close to my child’s age who are going through similar situations and sharing them with my child, it helps her to process what is going on in her life. If she is struggling with moving to a new level in gymnastics, I share with her stories of other girls her age who are switching levels. The same can be applied to basically any situation. My girls recently had the opportunity to read an amazing book called, That’s Not Hay in My Hair written by 17 year-old Juliette Turner. The story is about an 11-year old girl named Jules and her mother who are leaving their home in NYC to move to a ranch in Texas. It is a humorous and touching story that truly captures the emotions and adventure of moving across the country. Not only did Jules have to face leaving behind friends, she also had to adjust to a completely foreign Texas farm life. While my children are not facing a cross country move, both of my daughters were able to identify with Jules being in an uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and sometimes scary situation. Whether your child is facing a move across the country, or just across town, the birth of a new sibling, switching schools, joining a new sports team or whatever transition they may be going through, That’s Not Hay in My Hair is a book that will show them how to survive a situation that stretches they beyond their comfort zone. Click here to purchase your own copy of That’s Not Hay in My Hair by Juliette Turner now.


Are your tweens facing any difficult transitions right now? What are you doing to help ease the changes?



*I am a compensated Zondervan Brand Ambassador.

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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