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Adolescent Milestones

Your child has left the

minor league and are now
moving to the majors.
Middle and High School
are their new educational
and social setting. Now
education is at the forefront of your childs development. They are
learning new social skills
and dealing with more
adult issues.

Physical Development
Hello puberty! Your childs
body is now back to rapid
change mode. Girls and
boys are both going throw
growth spurts with height
and weight gain. There are
increased hormones racing
through their bodies which
are effecting their sexual
organs as well as bringing
their bodies close to adulthood.


Red Flags

Younger adolescents are

just beginning to understand how their actions will
effect their futures. Older
ones have it in the back of
their minds, especially in
regards to their behavior
and educational lives. They
are able to solve complex
problems and are more

At this stage many red flags

have been spotted. Yet if
there are any unusual physical developments, like early
or late onsets of puberty
this is something to be
concerned about.

Language Development
Language at this ager can
be very mature. Most
adolescents have vast
vocabularies and have
learned the art of
persuasion and debating.

Social Factor
Probably the most often discussed changes during adolescence are the increases in peer focus and involvement in peer-related social, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Many
adolescents attach great importance to these types of activities-substantially more importance than they attach to academic activities (Wigfield, Eccles, MacIver, Reuman, &
Midgley, 1991). Indeed, often to the chagrin of parents and teachers, activities with peers,
peer acceptance, and appearance can take precedence over school activities, particularly
during early adolescence
In part because of the importance of social acceptance during adolescence, friendship networks during this period often are organized into relatively rigid cliques that differ in social
status within the school setting (Brown, 1990). The existence of these cliques seems to reflect adolescents need to establish a sense of identity; belonging to a group is one way to
solve the problem of who am I. (Filardo, E. K. (1996). Gender Patterns in African American and White Adolescents' Social Interactions in Same-Race, Mixed-Gender
Groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Cultural Factors
In Western culture adolescents are granted partial adult status at many different ages-for example, an age of
starting employment, for driving, for leaving high school, and for voting. In some context they may still be
regarded as children at in their homes and schools. In other cultures they may celebrate physical maturity with
an adolescent initiation ceremony, a ritualized announcement to the community that marks an important
change in privilege and responsibility.

Play Based Strategies

How to support your adolescent child

Talk with your child about their body changes and be understandable about
their new mood swings.
Set rules that you both come up with.
Stay involved with the school community
Talk to your child about romantic relationships and sexual education.
To learn more check out
Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American
psychologist, 55(5), 469.
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