Written by Candy Arrington

Pray for boldness

My son confided that he had an inordinate fear of being incapacitated by illness or injury. He also feared home invasion when his dad was working in another state. He had these fears until he realized God could protect him and help him face anything that may happen.

Sometimes tweens overhear things that make them fear financial insecurity – a potential job loss or breakup of their parents’ marriage. Other tweens worry excessively about doing well academically or athletically.

If you sense your tween is struggling with fears, initiate a conversation where you mention the fears that you had at his age. This may prompt him to share his own fears, so you can encourage him by reading Scriptures that promise God’s protection. Pray together, asking God to calm his anxieties and protect him from harm. Keep your conversation in confidence so your child feels safe in revealing his fears to you.

Pray for their self-perception

Media coverage bombards tweens with images of beautiful people. Sometimes the desire to look attractive and be popular becomes huge in their minds. Tweens need parental support to realise they are special and don’t need to imitate others. Encourage children to embrace their uniqueness, and pray with them about their self-image.

Pray for teachers and kids

Your tween may have a negative perception of teachers. His attitude and response to a difficult teacher may determine the success of the relationship. Encourage your tween not to assume the worst but to follow directions and exhibit a positive attitude. Pray with your tween for his teacher every morning before he leaves for school.

Your tween also may have problems with peers. Some people abuse others in order to experience a sense of control or attempt to elevate their own low self-esteem. Remind your tween that friends do not verbally or physically abuse each other. Then take steps to help distance your tween from those who are abusive. Pray with your tween for his friends – and his enemies – before he leaves for school each morning.

From Focus on Your Child’s Tween Ages, January 2008. Published by * © Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission. *U.S.A.