Easy Ways to Inspire Your Tween

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The tween years are years of change, challenges, and numerous ups and downs. Both you and your tween will experience the volatility of your child's transition to the teenage years and beyond.

But change doesn't necessarily mean that these years can't also be years of enormous achievement, character building, and enjoyment. Here's how to help your tween find inspiration in everyday life, so that your child will make the most of the tween years and all the years that follow. Teach your tween to avoid the mental effects that the challenges of the tween years often bring.

Enjoy the Little Things

Many tweens tend to focus on the negative, or everything that is going wrong for them. A bad day, a mean remark, an embarrassing moment can ruin your child's day. But you can help your tween by teaching him or her to enjoy the little things in life. Enjoying things such as a funny television show, a playful moment with a pet, or a really good ice cream cone can help your tween turn the negative into the positive. You can help your tween learn how to enjoy life's little moments by enjoying them yourself. Appreciation for a good cup of coffee, a great meal, or a funny moment can help your child learn appreciation.

Enjoy the Big Things

There are moments in life that can be truly extraordinary, and they are worth your child's reflection and appreciation. Just as you teach your child to embrace the little things in life, you should also help him or her make the most of special events, such as graduations, family traditions, weddings, or welcoming a new baby or member into the family. When a big event happens, be sure you and your tween talk about it and discuss how these moments can shape a family and a loved one's future. Identify the big moments in your family's life and help your tween grasp the importance of them and how they can improve or enhance your life together.

Accept and Embrace Failure

Inspiring your tween to achieve and dream means teaching your child to take chances and accept failure as a part of the process. If your tween is inspired to try out for the school play or participate on the debate team, then he or she should know that success may not come immediately. Rather, success sometimes takes years of hard work and dedication, and learning from mistakes is a part of the journey. Identify moments from your own life that help your child understand that failure is often times the very thing that leads to success. You can also share examples of celebrities or other people your child may identify with. 

Get Outside

Nature has a way of providing inspiration to those who need it, but your tween's busy life may not provide enough time for outdoor play or exploration. Between homework, activities, chores and other commitments, outdoor play often takes a back seat in the lives of today's children. No matter how busy your child may be (or how busy you may be) it's important to make time for outdoor adventures, such as nature walks, a walk around the neighborhood, or exploring your local or state parks. A day in the woods or at the beach can give your tween time to relax, and clear his or her mind. Try to make your outdoor time a chance for family bonding, and you'll double the rewards of the experience. 

Research Inspiring Stories

History is full of people who overcame, achieved and inspired others. Many children can learn from interesting historical figures, or even celebrities, and be inspired by their lives. Have your child research people from history or from present day who inspire him or her, and ask your tween to jot down why their lives and accomplishments inspire him or her. You might even want to share stories of individuals that you find inspiring with your tween. 

Be Creative

All of us have the ability to express our creativity. When your child was younger he or she probably enjoyed coloring, playing with Play-Doh or creating masterpieces with watercolors. While your tween may not be taking any art courses in middle school, it's important that he or she still tap into the creative side. Provide your child with art supplies such as watercolors, colored pencils, sketchbooks, paint or clay. Or, if your child is into photography or filmmaking, find sources and resources that can help him or her develop that artistic side. Tweens who love to bake or cook are also tapping into their creativity and should be encouraged. 

Spend Time With Pets

If your tween needs a special friend who won't judge and is a good listener, a family pet will meet the need. Pets have a way of calming us down, and because they live in the moment they can help tweens prioritize and find meaning and joy in simple things. Pets can also inspire us to be more caring and helpful, and that's inspiration that would benefit anyone. Encourage your tween to take an active role in your pets' care and health. Ask your child to take on daily feedings, or encourage your tween to find a time of the day to play with family pet for 15 or 20 minutes. If you put your tween in charge of some of the responsibilities of pet ownership, you may discover that he or she is not only inspired by the family pet, but also developing skills of self-reliance and independence. 

Take on a Challenge

One of the best ways to find inspiration in our lives is to take on a challenge. Taking on a project or a challenge can help your tween tap into skills that he or she never knew existed. Your child may also discover a hidden talent or passion for something in the process. Challenges can include tackling a home improvement task, making a meal for the family or for friends, or taking a class in a foreign language. Challenges present themselves to us every day, but if you encourage your tween to look for them, and to not be afraid of them, he or she will develop curiosity and other skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. 


It seems so simple but traveling is a wonderful way for the entire family to find inspiration and motivation. Traveling opens up our eyes to possibilities, such as career possibilities, interests and learning about other cultures makes us more aware of our own surroundings and appreciative of all that we have. You don't have to travel overseas or to places of exotic interest to tap into the benefits of exploration. A journey to your local museums, art galleries, parks, or other points of interest can help your tween expand his or her horizons and learn about their own place in the world. 

Meditate or Learn to Relax

Your tween's busy lifestyle may be interfering with his or her development and peace of mind. Learning to relax is a skill that many of today's children simply don't have, but learning how to relax can help your child emotionally, physically and mentally. Meditation, yoga, running or simply sitting in a quiet room by themselves can help tween learn to let their worries go and embrace the moment. You might consider taking classes in yoga or meditation together at your local Y or gym. Or, simply encourage your tween to listen to soothing music every day as a way to regroup and recharge. 

Serve Others

One of the best ways to find motivation and inspiration is to help others in need. Volunteering at your local church, through a local civic organization or through a local nonprofit can help your child learn how to help others, and see life through the eyes of someone less fortunate. Look into volunteer opportunities your tween might be interested in taking on, and consider doing them together as a family activity. Or, encourage your tween to conduct a supply drive for your local animal shelter, or research overseas charities that your family might be interested in supporting.

Keep a Journal of Inspiration

Many tweens enjoy journaling or keeping a diary of thoughts. Keeping a journal of inspiration can help your tween record ideas, quotes, pictures, milestones, or dreams that he or she can turn to when inspiration is most needed. A journal can also help your tween plan or strategize his or her dreams for the future, which can prove to be an inspiration as well as a record. Ask your tween to write down 20 things that he or she would like to do in their lifetime, or ask your tween write down 10 ways each member of the family has inspired him or her and why. You might be surprised and inspired a little yourself!

Ask About Daily Events 

If you want to get your tween thinking about inspiring events or motivation, ask him or her to tell you one thing that inspired them every day. Your tween's answers may be funny, silly, serious, or bizarre, but you will get your child thinking about how the daily events in our lives can be a source of inspiration and good. Be sure to share your own inspiring moments, and who knows, you might even create a new family tradition -- how's that for inspiration?

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