Chill out! Preteen Parenting Wisdom

Chill Out! by Joni Mantell, LCSW

Try these family activities to help preteens relax.

  • Schedule nights off—even one night a week—that are free from sports practices, extracurricular activities, and homework.
  • Do a family activity that everyone can contribute to, like putting together a large puzzle. Emphasize having fun and relaxing rather than competing or keeping score.
  • Prepare meals together as a family. Cooking is all about experimenting—and sometimes the "mistakes" turn out to be delicious.
  • Encourage children to write in a journal, engage in physical activity, do yoga, or write poetry—activities that are creative and healthy, but not measured or graded.
  • Ask less about grades and achievements in school and more about what engages your child and which subjects she likes.
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