Your child in preadolescence age – Emotional and behavioral changes

If your child is 10 or older you may find that he has outgrown many of the childlike qualities that have been described. This may be especially true of your daughter, for girls generally grow into adolescence somewhat earlier than boys do.

Physical changes

Your child moves gradually into puberty; the one set of menstruation in girls and of seminal emissions (commonly called wet dreams) in boys, before these events occur glandular changes take place in a child’s body which gradually prepare him or her for adolescence.

These changes usually bring out of strain as well as pride and pleasure for both your child.


How your child reacts to this stage depends a good deal on what kind of a person is already and on the kind of understanding you give him during these years.

Make your child understand the change

As your own understanding grows, it is a good idea to share much of your knowledge with your child because most boys and girls are a bit puzzled and worried by the changes in themselves at this stage in their development.

Emotional changes

As these gradual changes take place in your child’s body, he may become more moody, restless, and rebellious.

He is also apt to develop strong interest in the opposite sex and his own appearance.

This is partly because of many changes within his body, partly because of his feelings about them and partly because of the kind of society we live in most young people at this time feel unsure of themselves.

They feel too old for the pleasure of childhood and too young to belong to the society of teenagers, whom they so much admire.

Your preadolescence may be something like 12-year-old Marjorie, who appeared dressed for the school dance with her slip showing. When her mother printed this out she responded, “yes’ I know, I did it on purpose, it gives me something to worry about that I can fix.”

Your preadolescence is apt to move backward and forward between being independence and confident at one movement and astonishingly childish the next.

Shift in behavior

It is likely to help if you take these rapid shifts in behavior as calmly as possible with the understanding that he will become much steadier in time, it helps, too, if you realize that he is probably trying very hard to be a mature young person.

That simply can’t play the part all the time . If you show that you believe in him, he is far more apt to believe in himself.

And so your child grows in many ways on his travels and his ever-enlarging world, he grows in independence, physical and mental abilities, freedom, capacity for meaningful work, self control, and a surer sense of right and wrong.