Why Preteens Do What They Do
FACT: Between the ages of 12 and 14, children experience a plateau in brain growth, resulting in periods of excessive daydreaming, frequent listlessness, and short attention spans. At the same time, a rapid physical growth is taking place, causing awkwardness, clumsiness, extreme self-consciousness, and frequent minor illnesses.
FACT: Emotional stability is inconsistent during the ages of 10 to 15. Your preteen's behavior may be erratic -- from loving to pouting to surly to kind. Kids this age often exhibit an easy loss of control, tremendous insecurities, and insatiable need for adult approval -- but on their own terms. They are also their own worst critics.
FACT: Peer group prestige has a big effect on your child's social development. Preteens are conflict oriented: They attempt to break home dependence, but are lost without family and school security. They demand their independence, but often exhibit little follow through or responsibility. Your preteen may have high ideals and insist on self-identity, but conformity is the order of the day.
Success living and working with preadolescents will happen when you understand the changes that they're experiencing and act accordingly. Giving them the necessary room to grow, but being there when needed can be a tough job. Hang in there. Your child needs your support.
More on: Changes During Puberty