Common Issues Facing Tweens

Growing up isn't easy. With as much as preteens go through while transitioning into the teen years, it's no wonder that many of them find themselves facing some pretty troubling challenges. Parents, teachers and other adults can help teens deal with their problems by being supportive and setting fair limits. Here are six ways preteens can stumble into trouble, as well as some solutions to help them back up when they fall.


Risk Taking

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There are many ways in which troubled tweens express themselves. For some, it's through risk-taking. But troubled tweens are the only ones who take chances. Risk taking is common among tweens and teens in general, largely because they truly do believe they are invincible.

Risk-taking manifests in many different ways. For some preteens, that might include binge drinking, having sex, and taking chances with their own safety.


Substance Abuse

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Many parents mistakenly believe that the risks of smoking, underage drinking, and drug use are solely reserved for teenagers. Unfortunately, many preteens engage in underage drinking, smoking, and other abusive dangers, such as inhalants. Being able to recognize signs that your child is using alcohol, drugs, or engaging in other risky behaviors can help you combat the problem sooner rather than later.


Depression and Anxiety

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Depression and anxiety can affect children and adults, and in both cases, it can be a difficult and challenging obstacle. Children who are depressed often pull away from friends have trouble sleeping or change their eating habits, among other symptoms. If you suspect your child may be suffering from depression or anxiety, it would be wise to contact your child's doctor for an evaluation.

In addition, research has shown that physical activity can control depression and anxiety symptoms. Be sure to schedule a little physical activity every day.



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For obese and overweight children, life can be tough and troubling. Youth who seriously struggle with weight often face social issues and may have trouble fitting in. In addition, they also have higher rates of depression and other behavior problems. If your child is overweight, be aware of his or her self-esteem and offer assistance in helping your child overcome their weight issues, as well as the other issues that may come with it.


Self-Esteem Issues

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For many troubled teens, self-esteem — or the lack thereof — can be a huge problem. There are many ways to help your child build healthy self-esteem. It's important to be positive and encouraging, but it's also just as important to give them opportunities to both succeed and fail. Be sure to point out that you do not expect perfection from your child — you just want them to give it a try and do their best.


Kids, Trouble, and Free Time

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Tweens flock to trouble like moths to a flame. Think back to all the shenanigans you got into as a kid. There are a number of ways your child can find their way into trouble. One of those ways: free time. The more unsupervised free time a tween has, the more easily they can stumble into trouble. Your child should be aware of your expectations for them and understand that certain behaviors are off-limits, no matter what.

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