13-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them

In the summer months, we will be focusing on two topics:
  1. Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids (See Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 1  and Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 2)
  2. Teenagers (This is the third of seven posts on teenagers; prior posts are below.)
How COVID-19 “Stay-At-Home” Time Can Improve Parenting Teens
What You Need to Know About Teenagers.

What 13-year-olds can be like when struggling to grow-up:
  • Act like they don’t need anybody
  • Want you to know what they want, even when they haven’t told you
  • Can’t seem to say what is bothering them
  • Act like they don’t care about anything
  • Don’t want to be close to people
  • Are secretive
  • Do things because other people want them to even when it isn’t best for them
How to talk to your 13-year-old – let them know:
  • You are glad they are your child.
  • They belong in your family.
  • You want to help them get what they need.
  • You are glad they are a boy or a girl.
  • They can learn to be more grown-up one step at a time, not too fast and not too slow.
  • People have many feelings, some good and some not so good.
  • You love them, and they can count on you to willingly care for them.
Remember, giving your child the above messages should only be done when you really mean them. If the time or situation is not right, wait until they are. If you find it hard to give these messages most of the time, figure out how you can help yourself believe the messages and give them freely (get some help, rest, information, therapy, etc.)
Based on concepts in Growing Up Again, Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson


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