Preteens and Teens
Hormones change everything- and puberty seems to descend on a family like a tornado. Friends become more important, your children will test the waters to see what they can get away with and what boundaries they can’t. Personalities are quite different amongst children and definitely when we consider the difference in genders. Preteens place a lot of importance on fitting in, beauty (their physical changes are more visible) and being popular- especially girls. Preteen place a lot of importance on being witty, adventurous and risk-taking- especially boys. Therefore, in general, knowing what your preteen is concerned about, dealing with and makes them happy, will go a long way in helping to parent them.
What will they deal with? Today, preteens are dealing with many of the peer pressures that used to afflict high school teens. More than ever, sixth graders are having sex due to what they see on their phones, televisions and computers. But this is for the next chapter. What we need to know here is developmental milestones and how they affect your preteen/young teen. What are they?
- They will experience moodiness
- Have more interest in their peer group and more likely to be influenced by them
- They become more self-focused and waiver between high expectations to lack of confidence
- They will show less affection towards parents and even display rudeness or disrespect
- More concerned with body image
- Experience stress for the first time when it comes to school, sports, extra curricular activities and peers
- Might develop an eating disorder
- Might dabble and experiment with alcohol, vaping or drugs
Let’s look at teens. Girls will most often have finished puberty but boys are most often still experiencing changes in growth, voice, muscle mass and weight. More independence and responsibility is on the scene which accompanies more possibility for some bumps in the road. What are these social/emotional changes?
- They will have a deeper capacity for caring and sharing
- More interested in romantic and sexual relationships
- They will spend more time with friends and less time with parents
- They can experience sadness or depression which can lead to poor grades
- Experimenting with alcohol and drugs is more accessible since they are more independent
- They will cultivate a work habit and ethics
- They are more concerned with the future whether- it’s work or going to college