Eleven is the start of an intense period of preparation that lasts till around fourteen. It’s a time when the internal battle begins in earnest between the child inside and the emerging teen.
It also coincides with a move from primary to secondary school, which for many signals the end of one stage and heralds in a new stage of life.
1.Shift your parenting gear
Eleven usually signals a different parenting gear, where you start to do less for your young person, either doing more with them (if they allow), or standing back and allow them to do things for themselves in preparation for them fending for themselves when you are not with them.
2.Understand that they battle the physiology
Your eleven year old may experience extreme mood swings due to hormonal changes of puberty – leading to sudden explosions of anger and slumps into misery.
3.Help them understand friendships
Many girls experience cliques for the first time, which can be just as intimidating for everyone concerned. Friendships between boys at this age are inclusive, based on shared interest and positive characteristics.
4.Keep them active and involved in sports and clubs
Physical activity is very important at this age for fitness and well-being, as well as relieving energy and tension.
5. Watch how grooming becomes important now
Pay attention to how your young person dresses, giving dressing and grooming advice that’s appropriate for his age.
6.Explain those physical changes
Help your young person understand what is happening to his body, and provide plenty of reassurance that young people experience growth spurts at different rates, and provide plenty of information about how to take care of his body.
7.Sing from the same parenting songsheet (if you have a partner)
Separate styles may have worked during childhood, but it helps to be on the same parenting page when your child moves into adolescence.
8.Prepare for secondary school
The development of self-help skills; reading schedules and timetables; thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for their homework and other daily routines are some simple measures to help prepare your young person for the requirements of secondary school.
This is an extract from the Developmental Parenting Planner for raising eleven year olds that's available for purchase here.
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