13 Years Info

Your child's body has not been taken over by aliens.  She's just 13.  She may not want to have much to do with you or other family members.  She sees her life as revolving around her peer group, not her family.  She may be less affectionate, especially in front of others.  You may also bear the brunt of her mood swings and temper.

This can be a troubling time for the young teen as she may be introduced to alcohol, tobacco and drugs.  Keeping the lines of communication open is critical.  Your young teen should have set boundaries and responsibilities.  Too much unsupervised, free time could put them at risk.

Praising your child for positive behavior will reinforce it.  Effective praise gets right to the point and describes why you are pleased.  You child's self-esteem will grow and she'll feel confident in your love.

It is not abnormal for your child to grow significantly at this stage.  The growth will be different for each adolescent.  Boys will especially go through puberty at varying times.  This can cause stress for some boys and girls who mature early or late.

Straightforward, honest conversations should continue through the teen years about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and making healthy choices.  If this conversation makes you uncomfortable to the point of avoidance, talk to your pediatrician or school counselor about ways to start the conversation and keep the lines of communication open.

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