Letter from Head of School: Pre-teen through early adolescence development

Sallie-Wells-headSeveral of our families have asked me to do a Cougar U on the development of children pre-teen through early adolescence (9 years to 14 years of age). This stage of development can be challenging for both parent and child. Marked by the child’s growing desire for independence, inability to stay organized, and peer struggles can challenge the best of one’s parenting skills. Students of both genders share similar challenges as well as challenges that are specific to each individual gender. Having an understanding of a child’s developmental stage helps parents better understand the behavior of their child, as development is often times directly linked to behavior. This aged child often displays the following behavior:

  • Mean girl behavior.
  • Loss of school work or inability to remember to turn in assignments.
  • Issues with body image.
  • Rebellion
  • Once confident in ability – now lacks confidence.
  • Prefers to be alone than with others.
  • Socially and physically awkward.
  • Begins exercising abstract thinking.
  • May lack desire to try new things.

If you’re interested in learning more about this age group, please mark your calendar and plan to join me for the last Cougar U of the 2015-2016 school year on April 30th from 9-11 a.m.  I’ll discuss development and give suggestions on how to address concerns over behavior. Following this Cougar U, you’ll have a greater understanding of why your child does the things they do and how to best handle the challenges that define this age group. Hope to see you there!

 

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