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Leading a small group of preteen girls is both rewarding and challenging. They are in that in-between stage and learning how to navigate new waters and we are part of the journey they are taking between child and teenager. Part of this new path is changing hormones and the emotions that accompany them. A preteeen girl’s emotions can be up one minute and down another. This rollercoaster of feelings can sometimes manifest itself in bouts of tears.
Here are four pointers in dealing with this kind of emotional outburst:
■Deal with it. Don’t ignore it or trivialize it. The situation may seem silly, but to a girl in the midst of the outburst it can be scary and overwhelming.
■Talk about it. Taking the girl aside and giving her a chance to share how she is feeling and helping her identify why she is feeling that way is a huge help.
■Normalize it. Reassure her that what she is feeling is normal for her age. Let her know that other girls are going through this same thing.
■Pray about it. Take this time to pray with her and for her. Let her know that God wants to hear how she is feeling and will be there for her.
Part of being a small group leader of preteen girls is riding this rollercoaster with them. We are here to support and encourage them along the way.
I wouldn’t trade a moment of it and am so blessed to be a part of my small group girls’ lives.