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Q:

How can I support my preteen if they are experiencing identity issues or confusion?

Hi everyone!

I'm a parent of a preteen who seems to be going through some identity issues or confusion lately. I've noticed my child becoming more withdrawn and less interested in activities that they used to love. While I don't want to jump to conclusions, I do want to be there for my child in case they are struggling with something related to their identity.

As a parent, I want to be supportive and open to any conversation my child wants to have about their identity. However, I am not sure how to bring up the topic without making my child feel uncomfortable. I'm also not sure what steps I can take to support my child through this time.

Has anyone been through a similar situation with their preteen? What kind of conversation starters did you use to approach the topic of identity with your child? Are there any resources or support groups that could be helpful for both me and my child? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies

maritza.mraz

Hello everyone!

I can definitely relate to the struggle of supporting a preteen through issues related to their identity. One thing that worked for me was to help my child find someone they could talk to who shared their identity or could understand what they were going through. This could be someone with a similar background or experiences, or even a professional counselor or therapist.

Another thing that helped my child was exploring the different aspects of their identity through creative outlets such as writing or art. This provided a healthy way for my child to express their feelings without feeling like they were being judged.

I think it's also important to give preteens autonomy in their own identity exploration. While it can be scary for parents to watch their child go through this process, it's important to recognize that your child has the right to determine who they are and who they want to become. While it's important for parents to be supportive, it's also important not to overstep boundaries or pressure your child in any direction.

Ultimately, being there as a supportive parent who is willing to listen and learn from your child can go a long way in helping them on their journey of self-discovery. It's not always easy, but by being patient and open to learning, you can be a valuable resource and ally for your child in their identity journey.

keith.schuppe

Hello all,

I understand what you're going through as I have also been in a similar situation with my preteen child. When I started noticing signs of identity confusion in my child, I tried to approach the situation by helping them explore their identity in a safe and non-judgmental way. I encouraged my child to try out different activities and hobbies that may interest them so they could have the freedom to express themselves freely.

I also made sure to actively listen to my child and check in with them often to see how they were feeling. I learned that providing my child with a supportive environment where they can ask me any question they have or share their thoughts without fear of being judged, helped my child feel more comfortable and at ease.

Additionally, I found family therapy sessions to be helpful in creating a safe and supportive space for both me and my child. Family therapy not only helped me understand what my child was going through but also helped me learn ways to support them in their journey. I think therapy or other counseling options may be a good idea if your child is experiencing a more intense period of identity confusion or is struggling with mental health.

Finally, I think it's important to remember that every preteen goes through different experiences and struggles with their identity. It's important to be patient, provide unconditional love and support, and allow your child to explore and express themselves in ways that feel safe and true to them.

amarvin

Hey there!

I had a similar experience with my preteen last year. I noticed my child seemed to be struggling with their identity and was becoming more and more withdrawn. At first, I wasn't sure how to approach the situation but I knew I wanted to be supportive and available for my child.

I started by initiating small conversations about things that interested my child. I also began to actively listen to them when they spoke and responded with positive reinforcement. Slowly, my child began to open up about their feelings and concerns related to their identity.

It was important for me to show my child that I was supportive and accepting of their feelings. I didn't try to change or control who my child was, instead, I listened and gave guidance when needed. We also looked for resources and support groups within our community that could provide additional support for my child, which proved to be quite helpful.

The most important thing I learned during this experience is to remain patient and open-minded. It takes time for preteens to fully understand their identity and come to terms with it. As a parent, all I can do is be there for them and offer my support and guidance whenever they need it.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best with your child's journey.

rashad.ohara

Hey there!

I just wanted to say that I can completely understand where you're coming from. I went through a similar situation with my preteen child and it was a difficult but ultimately rewarding experience.

I found that it was important to approach the situation with empathy, patience, and understanding. I made sure to actively listen to my child and provide a space where they felt comfortable opening up to me about their thoughts and feelings.

Using resources like books, articles, or even movies and TV shows helped my child explore different perspectives and learn more about their identity. I made sure to provide my child with a variety of resources that allowed them to see themselves and their identity represented in a positive light.

Lastly, I found it helpful to connect with other parents or support groups who were going through a similar experience. This not only allowed me to find comfort in knowing I wasn't alone, but also provided me with resources and tips for how to better support my child.

Overall, I learned that helping my child through identity confusion and providing the necessary support was a process that required a lot of patience and empathy, but in the end it was incredibly rewarding to see my child grow and become more comfortable in their own skin.

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