West Perry School District

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Twelve to Fourteen Year Olds

Below you will find a list of characteristics of a typical twelve to fourteen year old. Keep in mind that not all children develop at the same time and will progress through these stages at their own pace. However, if you have concerns about your child’s development, it is important to talk with your child’s doctor. 


Characteristics of a Typical Twelve to Fourteen Year Old

Moving from concrete thinking                  Seeks approval of peers and others

to abstract thinking                                   through attention-getting behaviors


Displays high achievement when                 Experiences unpredictable mood swings

challenged and engaged


Prefers active learning                               Develops a need to release energy with


Enjoys interacting with peers                     Displays a desire to be independent

during learning activities


Curious with a wide-range of                      Believes personal problems, feelings,

interests                                                     experiences are unique



Interested in popular culture                     Self-conscious

and fads


Tends to overreact to embarrassment       Relies on parents/important adults

and rejection                                              for advice but wants to make own 


Models behavior after older students

not necessarily parents/other adults



Taken from:  http://www.ccebos.org/turningpts.org/pdf/Young%20Adolescent%20Learner%20-%20TP%20Guide.pdf

Learning Activities


Twelve to Fourteen Year Olds

·        Meet and get to know your child’s friends.

·        Help your child make healthy choices while encouraging him/her to make his/her own decisions.

·        Respect your child’s opinions and take into account his/her thoughts and feelings. It is important your child knows you are listening.

·        When there is a conflict, be clear about goals and expectations, but allow your child to have input on how to achieve those goals.

·        Encourage your child to be physically active.

·        Help your child develop appropriate time management skills related to school assignments, extracurricular activities and recreational activities.

·        Spend uninterrupted and quality time listening and talking with your child about school


Taken from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/adolescence.html   and http://www.davidson.k12.nc.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=16059