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Imagine trying to teach a bird to climb a tree. Do you think you might have some “behavior issues” from the bird? Would they succeed? Would you, as the teacher, be frustrated? When we don’t consider where preteens are developmentally, we are setting them up for a similar failure, and setting ourselves up for a similar frustration.
Sometimes what we think is a behavior issue in a preteen is just an outflow of where they are developmentally.
Understanding preteens’ development can help to approach their behavior with empathy and peace, as opposed to judgement and frustration. It can also help us to structure our events, environments, and services in ways that set them up for success.
Here are three ways you can begin the journey of understanding preteens:
- Read the research paper by the AMLE.
- Read a book about developmental stages, like Yardsticks.
- A Google Search for “Developmental Stages” will help you in further understanding this age. Notice especially the work of Piaget and Erik Erikson.
Do you have a great resource for understanding preteens? Share with us in the comment section below. Please.
By the way…
- The Launchinar, with Patrick Snow, is coming up on December 1st. Get the details HERE.
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Have a question about preteen ministry or a unique preteen ministry idea that we can feature on our podcast? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.