Please change your browser settings or upgrade your browser. Understanding the complicated time of adolescence will help you best guide your child through the development of communication of the child with adults and peers. These changes coincide with the transition to middle school, which demarcates the shift to adolescence as we think of it. Around puberty, adolescent egocentrism emerges, deeply affecting how 11-13 years feel about themselves.
Rwandan family through World Vision’s Take a Walk CYOA. Middle schoolers are at the tail end of what researcher Erik Erikson calls the age of Industry vs Inferiority. During this stage, they become aware of themselves as individuals, and they work hard to be responsible and to accomplish more complex tasks. The middle school years are marked by significant personality changes. By definition, children this age show erratic, inconsistent behaviors: one moment they are happy, the next, weeping. In one instant they are affectionate and loving, the next, they resent their parents. At once they feel invincible, the next, invisible.
Parenting young teens is an investment in patience, empathy, and continued support, despite all evidence from your child to the contrary. These years are important ones for your child to develop increased independence from you, to shift the center of his social world from home to peers, and to explore and discover his talents and interests within a larger community of influence. Middle school is when children begin to spend significantly more time with friends over family. While needing to be an individual, they do not want to stand out from peers, particularly same sex peers. They seek group membership at almost any cost, including acting cruelly to others outside the group.