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Pre-teen development

preteen development

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Pre-Teens Child Development (10-12)

 Have you got a child who’s just venturing into double digits? Then you’re probably noticing some drastic changes in your child’s temperament, and leaps in their cognitive development, all of which is part of the joys of growth, but what can you expect to see happen?

What should i expect?

Well your pre-teen development will start to become more independent socially, I don’t mean they’re meeting mates in the pub, but they will start to value their friends more and start to build the beginnings of a meaningful social structure. In time these new friendship groups will become a defined circle of friends who your child will spend more time with, share interests with and refer to more often than others. You may begin to see them testing your belief structure and asking questions that have a grounding in right vs. wrong and the recognition of their differences, you may notice more of an obsession in television programs where the struggle between good and evil is prevalent. What we may see is this new found interest in morality spilling over into their peer group in the form of resolving conflicts between each other rather than seeking the involvement of adults, studies suggest that in these early pre-teen years peer groups are most Egalitarian (where group decision making is favoured above set rules) and “include such things as discussion, negotiation and consensus-seeking”(Youniss, 1987.)

What is happening!!

So what does that all mean for you? Are your child and his/friends going to run off into the street and start acting out West Side Story? Of course not, it’s simply recognising that your child will start to ask questions, and may seek those answers from their friends, indeed they may well value those opinions more than they value yours, not because they don’t care what you think, but because they are exploring the boundaries of social interaction.

Another thing you may notice about your child is they may develop a sense of pride in things that they do, either at school or in clubs and seek approval for work or tasks they have completed, this in turn will develop into a drive to succeed and do well, if nurtured this will form the basis of their desire for future gains. They may start having complex ideas about what they want to do in the future for a job, or as a hobby, such as a Race Car Driver or an Astronaut and at this point will start to develop clear preoccupation with ideas and genres, for example a love of Sci Fi and space, or a love of animals and the different types of species, you may start to see a theme in the things they want to do, programs they watch or even food they want to eat.

preteen development

Physical development

Other obvious developments will be physical, running faster and for longer, greater balance and dexterity, and some will start to want to know more about the body and what it does, they may become interested in their own body, which of course will be compounded by the beginnings of puberty, girls may start to show subtle signs of change in there bodies, however neither sex will start to show interest in the opposite sex at this point. Hormone changes may lead to displays of discontent and anger at being challenged for behaviour, how each behaviour shows itself will change from person to person but in general girls will be more emotional whereas boys will be more dismissive, bordering on arrogant.

In these three years between ten and twelve a lot will happen, we’ve covered some of it there but there are more and it’s important to remember that your child may not show all the same signs of development as another child, some kids are more easy going than others and will breeze through the changes, other may struggle. It’s important to have a clear thought process in your mind when your sweet little angel starts spending more time with friends and is more interested in eating, playing and discovering than being with you. What is important is to support each new discovery, encourage forward thinking and help enrich the new moral outlook as often as you can, eat dinner as a family, talk about your day and encourage them to talk about friends.



About Steven Petter

About Steven Petter

Steve has three children, Connor, Harmony-Skye and Fletcher. He is a Martial Arts enthusiast as well as an avid reader of books about Philosophy, he began writing short stories and also writes music reviews.

Website: Steven Petter

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