Encourage Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities
Without proper guidance, parents will hear their child utter the words "I'm bored" far too often. As your child begins to come into his own, he'll begin looking for new ways to spend time and energy outside of his schoolwork. While many parents are likely to push for a child's hobby to be reading, keep his own desires in mind while still teaching him life skills.
Whether it's music, video games, movies, art, sports or something else entirely, the cost of hobbies and extracurricular activities can be stressful. You'll worry whether it's worthwhile to purchase a brand new violin if your child doesn't end up playing it, and that's OK. Instead of buying it, you can simply rent one as a reliable and less expensive way to develop your child's interests.
If your preteen is struggling to find a hobby you consider useful, you might try offering a few suggestions. For instance, if he's interested in movies, pick up a cheap digital camcorder so he can try out his filmmaking skills. If he's interested in video games, introduce him to child-friendly programming software.
Keep your intentions and your child's interests in mind while helping him select extracurricular activities and hobbies. In theory, you can find ways to combine the two into something your preteen will benefit from and enjoy.