Middle School Development

Middle School can be a time of upheaval and change for both parents and students. The time period of adolescence from age 12 through 18 most often characterized by being a “teenager” is a time of rapid physical,intellectual,social and emotional changes.

The changes correlate with typical developmental milestones. Knowing what to expect can ease this transition and affirm the natural progression of independence that is a main goal of adolescence.

In adolescence children begin to separate from parents while aligning themselves with their peers. They distance themselves in order to discover their own separate identity and /or niche and in doing so gravitate toward their peers for acceptance and confirmation. .This may be reflected in the increased time they spend with their friends, changes in friends, increased time spent in their rooms versus time spent in the presence of parents.At this time media heroes and heroines become role models for behavior and fashion trends

These behaviors may cause conflict and shake even the most secure parent. Keep in mind that this period is a transition and try to be patient with your child.

Psychological changes include moodiness brought on by the combination of physical, social and emotional changes and hormones as well as inconsistent behavior. Middle school age students can be sensitive to others and the world around them but are often egocentric.

Intellectual characteristics cover a wide range as children move from concrete thinking to abstract. Curiosity ,active learning and an interest in learning information that is useful are key. Middle school age students become more independent learners .

Physical changes also reflect a wide range of individual differences from pre-puberty through young adulthood. These physical changes are most accelerated during the adolescent period. An increase in height and weight and musculature occurs. Girls typically develop faster than boys. “Self conscious” and “awkward “often describe the feelings of a middle school age child towards their body.

Keep in mind that this is a transition and that each child is unique with their own interests and characteristics.Above all remember how important you as a parent are during this time . No matter what the age or stage, your adolescent continues to need your love and acceptance as they navigate the ins and outs of adolescence.

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