14 a vital age in child development

The year a child turns 14 they become an adolescent, which means that as a parent you will need to learn to accept a new child in the place of the one that you are accustomed to, since most teenagers experience a large amount of personal change during this tumultuous year.

By age 14, a child has started to forge a group identity and is now concerned with how they look to others, versus how they really feel about themselves.  They will also start to enter into their own subculture of teenage life, which will become easily noticeable by their dressing style, music, bedroom décor, hairstyle, and the friends they choose to associate with.

Despite these changes, the good news is most of the time a 14 year old will still say that when it comes to advice they count on both their friends and parents looking for guidelines and criteria as they start to pass through the many rites of aging.  For parents, accomplishments in terms of school, camps, family, and religion should be augmented and celebrated with dinners, parties, and by paying special attention to when banquets and award dinners are.

Another task that a parent has to deal with once their child turns 14 is learning to listen and value their child’s opinion.  This does not mean that you should let a child rule their life, but it does mean sitting down and honestly and calmly talking with them even if they give off the air that you are the last person they want to see.

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