5 Ways to Prepare Your Tweens and Teens for the Unexpected

when things don't go as planned

 

One of the essential skills children must learn as they are growing up is how to adapt when life throws them a curveball.  It’s easy to get knocked off course when things don’t go as planned.  But if your kids have a framework to deal with the most common unforeseen events, they’re much more likely to succeed.  Here are 5 ways to prepare your tweens and teens for the unexpected:

1. Financial.

Your teen gets let go from their part-time, after-school job because of cutbacks.  Suddenly, their financial plans to get that used car or new phone are shattered.  What to do?  Well, make sure your kids are learning how to save, spend, and share wisely.  When they do have a job or receive an allowance, encourage them to put a little money away so they can still achieve their goals and have enough when challenges come their way.  What a great way to prepare them for life!

2. Social.

Your children are going to get demoted from the “cool” lunchroom table at some point.  It can crush them if they don’t have an internal ballast to know who they are and whose they are.  Teach your child that they have immeasurable value because they are created in the image of God.  When others bully them or they feel left out, knowing that their worth is not determined by the opinions of others makes it much more bearable.

3. Ability.

Your son may be the starter on the football team or your daughter may be an honor student; however, these can be temporary.  Next year, someone better may walk-on the football team and your son may find himself on the bench.  Or, your daughter may have a subject that is unexpectedly difficult and her GPA may fall.  Teach your child that setbacks are a part of life.  It is okay if you are not the best as long as you try your best.

4. Physical.

Teach your child about the physical changes that will occur in their body, so they are not frightened or feel like they are different.  Let them know they are handsome or beautiful – always have been and always will be.

5. Anxiety.

As your children get older, the pressure in their lives will ratchet up.  They will begin to feel anxiety like they never have.  Some tweens and teens will turn to drugs, sex, or alcohol to relieve this stress.  But as their parent, teach them how to deal with anxiety in a much more healthy way – plenty of exercise, proper diet, managing time well, sleep, rest, and just plain old family fun.  Above all, help them to understand that there are many things they cannot control and to look to God as their source of wisdom, joy, and strength.

What are some of the ways you’ve prepared your child for the unexpected turns of life? Please share below.

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