About This Book


Being a preteen is harder than it looks. School is more challenging, bodies are changing, boys and girls notice each other, relationships with parents are different, and new issues arise with friends. This book, with 101 stories from Chicken Soup's library, supports and inspires preteens and reminds them they are not alone. Stories written by preteens just like them cover friends, family, love, school, sports, challenges, embarrassing moments, and overcoming obstacles.

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Five tips for raising your preteen

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Preteens Talk by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Being a preteen can be a very trying time. School gets tough, bodies start to change, and parents and friends are different than they used to be. The 101 contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Preteens Talk, want all up-and-coming teens to know, "You are not alone!" Readers will experience dealing with insecurities, peer pressure, friendships, family troubles and their most embarrassing moments. Here are five tips for parents raising a preteen.

1. Accept your preteen’s lifelong friends. Stephanie Caffall writes about her friendship with Jesse. It was "friends at first sight" when the two met in daycare. From running from the "Scorpion Invaders" to getting in big trouble for jumping on Mrs. Roger’s couch, Stephanie and Jesse stuck by each other. This friendship was unique because Jesse was a boy. Fast forward to seventh grade, and the two are still friends. Stephanie shares, "I know that some friends just come and go – but not Jesse. Even though he’s a guy and I’m a girl and we’re definitely growing up, we are friends to the core. Our friendship was meant to be from the first time we met."

2. Let your preteens learn not to prank each other. Mel Ann Coley and her sister Rose loved playing jokes on each other. Mel writes of the night she put super glue on Rose’s pillow. Rose smelled the glue before laying down and demanded Mel go make her a sandwich or suffer through being told on. The two exchanged bites of the fiery hot sandwich in an arguing manner. Mel drew the line after swallowing cold cream. After being loud enough to wake their mother and get grounded, Mel fell asleep first and became the victim of a final prank. She later advises, "Even if you think you’ve pulled off the greatest joke on someone, like your sister being glued to her pillow, you’ve only invited trouble to find you next – like a big, black mustache."

3. Encourage them to stand up for what is right. Donata Allison writes about the day she met her bother, Ben. He was different than most other babies she had seen, but she knew from the second she saw him she loved him with her whole heart. Ben had Down Syndrome, but young Donata didn’t understand what that meant. She explains, "I was told I would need to be extra careful with Ben, and that I might someday have to stand up for him and protect him." Donata has no problem setting people straight when she hears people making fun of her brother. "I think Ben is perfect just the way he is," she explains.

4. Make sure they know their attitude impacts others. Contributor David Ferino shares his experiences with Scott. Scott had a disability. He was a nice kid with the best attitude, even when he had to sit out certain activities. On the night of the long anticipated ice cream social fundraiser, David let Scott help him serve ice cream. A cute girl walked in, causing the other guys to push Scott out of the way in order to get to her first. To everyone’s surprise, she walked straight over to Scott. David shares, "That night I realized that somebody had overlooked Scott’s problems and had seen him as a friendly, normal human being. I realized something else, too. It was time for all of us to see Scott the same way."

5. Express your love, somehow. Kathy Kemmer Pyron hated pulling weeds, but her father made her do it every few weeks. He was very controlling and had a certain way he wanted things done. Kathy spent a lot of time wondering if she had ever done anything good enough for her father, someone who seemed not to care. One morning, after waking up sweaty and feverish, Kathy’s father came and scooped her out of bed and took her to the doctor to find out she had pneumonia. Late that night he snuck into her room and placed a necklace that had a charm on it that looked just like her dog. "With shaking hands, I held that necklace to my heart and cried," Kathy writers. "My dad, who never gave hugs and never said, ‘I love you...’ had just said it all."

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