Jun 28, 2024

Empowering Pre-Teens: Strategies for Confident and Open Communication

Pre-teen years can be a whirlwind of changes and challenges. As a Parenting Coach, I’ve seen how crucial these years are for building a foundation of confidence and open communication. This blog is all about empowering your pre-teen with effective strategies to boost their confidence and enhance their communication skills. We’ll share practical tips to help them foster independence, manage peer pressure, and encourage open dialogue.

Building Confidence in Your Pre-Teen

Confidence is key to helping your pre-teen navigate the ups and downs of growing up. Here are some strategies to boost their self-esteem:

Celebrate Achievements: No matter how small, celebrate your pre-teen’s achievements. Recognising their efforts and successes helps build their confidence. It could be anything from doing well on a school project to mastering a new skill.

Encourage Self-Expression: Give your pre-teen the freedom to express themselves. Whether through art, music, sports, or writing, finding an outlet for their creativity can significantly boost their self-esteem.

Set Realistic Goals: Help your pre-teen set realistic and achievable goals. Breaking down bigger tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make them feel more capable and motivated.

Promote Positive Self-Talk: Teach your pre-teen the power of positive self-talk. Encourage them to replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For instance, instead of thinking, “I can’t do this,” they can say, “I’ll give it my best shot.”

Model Confidence: Kids learn a lot by watching their parents. Show confidence in your actions and decisions. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect – showing how you handle mistakes confidently can also be a great lesson.

Enhancing Communication Skills

Open communication is essential for a healthy parent-child relationship. Here’s how you can encourage your pre-teen to communicate more openly:

Be a Good Listener: When your pre-teen wants to talk, give them your full attention. Put away distractions like your phone and make eye contact. This shows them that what they have to say is important to you.

Ask Open-Ended Questions: Instead of questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, ask open-ended questions that encourage your pre-teen to share more. For example, instead of asking, “Did you have a good day?” try “What was the best part of your day?”

Create a Safe Space: Make sure your pre-teen feels safe sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or punishment. Respond with empathy and understanding, even if you don’t agree with everything they say.

Share Your Own Experiences: Sharing your own experiences and feelings can help your pre-teen feel more comfortable opening up. It shows them that it’s okay to talk about their emotions and challenges.

Regular Check-Ins: Set aside regular times for one-on-one check-ins with your pre-teen. This could be during a walk, at dinner, or before bedtime. Regularly checking in can help keep the lines of communication open.

Fostering Independence

Pre-teens are at a stage where they crave more independence. Here’s how you can support them in becoming more self-reliant:

Give Them Responsibilities: Assign age-appropriate chores and responsibilities. This not only helps them feel more capable but also teaches important life skills.

Encourage Problem-Solving: Instead of immediately jumping in to solve their problems, encourage your pre-teen to think of solutions on their own. Offer guidance if needed, but let them take the lead.

Support Their Interests: Show interest in your pre-teen’s hobbies and passions. Whether it’s a sport, a musical instrument, or a new book series, supporting their interests helps them develop a sense of independence.

Allow for Mistakes: Let your pre-teen make mistakes and learn from them. This can be tough, but it’s an important part of growing up. Offer support and guidance, but resist the urge to fix everything for them.

Respect Their Privacy: As your pre-teen seeks more independence, respecting their privacy is crucial. This doesn’t mean you should be completely hands-off, but find a balance that allows them some space while still staying involved in their lives.

Managing Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a common challenge for pre-teens. Here are some tips to help your child navigate it:

Discuss Scenarios: Talk about different scenarios where they might face peer pressure and discuss how they could handle them. Role-playing can be a helpful tool for this.

Teach Decision-Making Skills: Help your pre-teen understand the importance of making their own choices based on their values and not just going along with the crowd.

Build a Support System: Encourage your pre-teen to build a network of supportive friends. Positive peer relationships can help counteract negative peer pressure.

Reinforce Your Values: Regularly discuss your family’s values and why they’re important. This helps your pre-teen develop a strong sense of right and wrong.

Be There for Them: Let your pre-teen know they can always come to you if they’re feeling pressured or unsure about a situation. Offer support and guidance without judgement.

Encouraging Open Dialogue

An open line of communication is vital during the pre-teen years. Here’s how to keep the dialogue flowing:

Be Approachable: Make sure your pre-teen knows they can come to you with anything. Being approachable and open-minded encourages them to share their thoughts and concerns.

Show Empathy: Try to understand things from your pre-teen’s perspective. Empathise with their feelings and experiences, even if they seem trivial to you.

Avoid Overreacting: When your pre-teen shares something difficult, try to stay calm and avoid overreacting. This helps them feel safe coming to you with future issues.

Offer Unconditional Support: Let your pre-teen know you’re there for them no matter what. Offering unconditional support helps build trust and encourages open communication.

Celebrate Their Efforts: Acknowledge and celebrate your pre-teen’s efforts to communicate, even if they don’t always get it right. Positive reinforcement encourages them to keep trying.


The pre-teen years are a pivotal time for building confidence and communication skills. By celebrating achievements, encouraging self-expression, and fostering open dialogue, you can help your pre-teen navigate these years with confidence. Remember, it’s all about being supportive, approachable, and involved in their lives.

At Frolic for Life, we believe in empowering pre-teens and their parents with the tools they need to thrive. Keep these strategies in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to helping your pre-teen build a strong foundation for the future. Happy parenting!


Would you like support from a Parent Coach? CONTACT US for a FREE consultation to talk about your needs and how we can help you unlock your parenting potential.

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The moment I heard about Kids Life Coaching from Coach Andrea, I knew I had to sign my kid up for it. Coach Andrea helped to show my pre-teen the tools she needs to cope with all sorts of things life throws at her now, and prepare her for what it will throw at her in the future. I think it was a bit challenging to get things out of her in the beginning, but after building a relationship with her, it became easier. I recommend Kids Life Coaching with Coach Andrea strongly because it’s so important for kids to learn these coping tools, or as she puts it: Superpowers!
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Frolic for Life’s Kids Life Coaching with Coach Andrea was such a great experience for my pre-teen son. Coach Andrea helped him with a transition to a new school and then a transition to a new country one year later! It was so helpful for him to have so many tools in his back pocket to deal with all of the emotions and big feelings. Having an extra adult in his life who he could confide in and trust with his feelings was really important to us. Especially living far from extended family. He really appreciated the role she played for him and felt pretty cool having his own “life coach”. I highly recommend Coach Andrea. She is so excellent with this age group. She really knows how to talk to pre-teens and earn their respect and trust without judgement.
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