As they develop, it’s important to evolve with them. Help your kids develop.

Children ages of 12 through 14 can be considered young teens. As shocking as that sounds, kids within that age range still need you to guide them through the world and help them navigate difficult situations they can’t handle alone. According to the CDC, young teens at this age start developing not only physically through puberty, but also in their social and academic stages. As they become more independent, it’s important to keep in mind that these first stages will shape them for the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s important to do everything possible to put them on the right path.

We’ve rounded up some of the most common topics you might encounter with your children and and supplied some ways you can help ensure they’re being taken care of in the best way possible. Parenting styles can be very different, but the below can provide some key areas of focus, no matter your approach.

Tackle Schoolwork Together

School work can seem daunting for both young and older children, but one way to help your child through this maze is to stay engaged. Creating structured plans for your child early on can instill an efficient better mindset when it comes to organizing their homework in a timely fashion. Procrastination can be tough to combat at any age, but one way to battle this is to reduce distractions. Consider using products like the Gryphon that can limit Wi-Fi usage on a schedule and even monitor and block certain sites.

If your child has trouble retaining information, try creating a system where assignments are broken into parts. Focus on one part per day and when reaching the last part, dedicate sometime to go over what was learned in the earlier sections before moving forward. This method can help a child keep information fresh in their memory while also developing a strong method of consistency.

Create Good Habits

Creating good habits for a 12 year old can be difficult, but if you show honest enthusiasm and participate with your child, completing the tasks can be pretty fun. Try having your kids engage in physical sports, like soccer or volleyball. If you show your kids how fun these sports are early enough, it can create a lifelong lesson on health and well-being. Another fun way to have fun while engaging is to create a reading club for your adolescents. Let them pick the books they want to read and schedule a time to sit together and review. There are plenty of ways, from cleaning to sharing life stories, to create and maintain fun activities for your kids that will encourage positive habits for their futures. Help your kids develop.

Encourage Class Participation and Being Socially Present

Adolescents have plenty of reasons to be moody, and we sure don’t want to add more wood to that fire. Promoting self advocacy early on can help your young teen learn how to use their own voice when needed. This will help them in expressing their thoughts and opinions in social settings, but also within the classroom. If they don’t understand something, they should ask questions. Oftentimes children will feel intimidated when attempting to speak out, but it’s important for parents to showcase a sense of confidence and appropriate timing when communicating. By helping build healthy confidence within your child, you’ll provide them with important tools for handling other situations, such as negative peer pressure.

Promote Making Friends and Avoiding Cliques

Not all kids are outgoing and socially aware. That’s why it’s important for parents to keep an eye out for the type of environments each of their kids thrive in and focus on those areas rather then pushing in different directions. One way to do this with adolescents is to encourage the joining of a club or sports league. This can help your child find peers with similar interests, making establishing connections easier and faster. As adolescents begin developing, their sense of right and wrong becomes clearer and it’s important to clarify what is positive and negative behavior. This can help your child avoid cliquish behavior and think independently, and do the right thing. This will help your kids develop.

Address Bully-Like Behavior

Bullying can happen in various forms, from sibling bullying to peer bullying in social and academic settings. It’s important to teach children what to do, whether they are the bullied, the bully, or a witness. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 20% of students ages 12–18 experience some form of bullying. Even though this number has gone down since 2017, it’s important to equip our children with anti-bullying tools and resources. Learning how to speak up for not only yourself but for others is the first step a young teen can take in stopping bullying. Recognizing what is bullying can help bystanders turn into active protectors and instill a better sense of what is right and wrong in your child. If your child is being bullied in any form, it’s important for them to have enough confidence to speak up to either you or another adult.

Help Your Kids Develop

If your child is the bully, make sure they’re aware of the long-lasting effects their behavior is causing and try to instill a sense of honest empathy in them. Holding them responsible, but also engaging in a teach-and-model format can help them recognize what a healthy relationship looks like.

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