In the last two issues of MS Messages, I shared with you six tips to help you work with your young adolescent on organization skills. I hope you found this information helpful and interesting. In this issue of I’d like to remind us all about the uneven growth and the common characteristics that young adolescents are experiencing. Taken from Chip Wood and the Center for Responsive Schools, Inc. here are the common characteristics of 11-, 12-, 13-, and 14-year-olds:
“Elevens are going through huge changes in their bodies, minds, and social behavior as they begin adolescence. The easy friendliness of ten often gives way to awkward, sometimes rude behavior at eleven. With their growing capacity for higher thinking, children this age like to try work that feels grown up, such as researching and interviewing.”
“Twelves are often unpredictable and hard to read as they swing between childhood and adulthood. Their greatest need is to be with peers as they sort through their physical, social, and emotional challenges and the all-important identity questions, “Who am I?”
“Thirteen is typically an age of rapid growth in mind and body, an age of contrasts and confusion. Thirteen-year-olds are both pushing away from adults and seeking them. They’re excited about new teenage opportunities but hesitate to take risks. Adding to the confusion, physical and emotional development is happening much faster in girls than in boys.”
“First on the agenda for fourteens is distancing themselves from adults. They need to do this to allow their own adult personalities to emerge. Fourteen-year-olds often have many challenging behaviors, but they can also have great creativity, a keen interest in solving problems in the larger world, more willingness to admit errors and try again, and a striking sense of humor.”
I hope you recognized your son or daughter in these descriptions; and remember: Each age is unique. Each is a wonder.
Hug your child, and Go Bulldogs!