10 - 12 years understanding the world
The pre-teen years are about seeing the ‘big picture’ and working out how s/he fits into it. Your child may use these years to test his or her boundaries, which may result in some ‘talking back’ and general discord at home. Pre-teens are usually interesting people to spend time with as they are developing views about their world that they are keen to express – and you may be surprised at the level of sophistication in their thinking.
Most will view starting high school as the next big step in their lives, and your child may become quite serious and focussed about their schoolwork.
How can I encourage a good relationship between us?
The parent-child relationship starts to undergo great change during these years, with the boundaries being constantly redrawn and renegotiated to take into account your child’s developing maturity and independence.
At this age, boys generally move away from the close relationship they’ve had with their mother, while girls move away from their father, both looking for a nurturing relationship with the same sex parent. Difficulties can sometimes arise in one parent families when the distance between mother and son, or father and daughter, cannot be offset by the closeness of that child with the other parent. If you are a single parent, it’s worth investing in relationships with extended family or close family friends so that you can get both the support you need, and provide a range of other people your child can form relationships with.
Although your pre-teen may need more personal space, don’t mistake her distance with disinterest. To develop the self-confidence and high self-esteem she’ll need to get her through adolescence without too many scars, she needs to feel safe and secure and to know that your love is unconditional (especially if you feel it’s being tested to its very limit).
- Make sure that you take care of yourself so that adulthood doesn’t look frightening.
- Don’t force yourself onto your child if she needs some distance from you – the more you try to close the gap, the more she’s likely to step away from you.
- Give her space and the trust that comes with it.
Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.