Coping Strategies for Teens
Getting Your Grades Together
Goal Setting
My Goals Plan
My Goals
How do you feel today
Problem Solving Worksheet
Solving Problems
Student Plan Worksheet
Tell Me About Yourself
Values that are Important to Me
What If

Developmental Stages of Children and Youth

chatting11 - 13 Year-Olds

General Characteristics
  1. Testing limits; a “know-it-all” attitude.
  2. Vulnerable; emotionally insecure; fear of rejection; mood swings
  3. Identification with admired adults.
  4. Bodies going through physical changes that affect personal appearance.
Physical Characteristics
  1. Good coordination of s** muscles; interest in art, crafts, model, and music.
  2. Early matures may be upset about their size – as their adult supporter, you can help by listening and explaining.
  3. Very concerned with their appearance; very self-conscious about their physical changes.
  4. May have bad diet and sleep habit and, as a result, low energy levels.
Social Characteristics
  1. Acceptance by friends becomes very important.
  2. Cliques start to develop.
  3. Team games become popular.
  4. Often have “crushes” on other people.
  5. Friends set the general rules of behavior.
  6. Feel a strong need to conform; dress and behave like their peers in order to “belong.”
  7. Very concerned with what others say and think about them.
  8. Have a tendency to try to manipulate others to get what they want.
  9. Interested in earning own money.
girlEmotional Characteristics
  1. Very sensitive to praise and recognition; feelings are easily hurt.
  2. Because friends are very important, can be conflicts between adults’ rules and friends’ rules.
  3. Caught between being a child and being an adult.
  4. Loud behavior may hide their lack of self-confidence.
  5. Look at the world more objectively; look at adults more subjectively, and are critical of them.
Mental Characteristics
  1. Tend to be perfectionists; if they try to attempt too much, may feel frustrated.
  2. Want more independence but know they need guidance and support.
  3. May have lengthy attention span.
Suggested Mentor Strategies
  1. Offer alternative opinions without being insistent.
  2. Be accepting of different physical states and emotional changes.
  3. Give candid answers to questions.
  4. Suggest positive money-making opportunities.
  5. Share aspects of your work life and rewards of achieving in work.
  6. Do not tease about appearance, clothes, boyfriends/girlfriends, **uality. Instead, affirm them.

14 – 16 Year-Olds

collegeGeneral Characteristics
  1. Testing limits; a “know-it-all” attitude.
  2. Vulnerable; emotionally insecure; fear of rejection; mood swings.
  3. Identification with admired adults.
  4. Bodies going through physical changes that affect personal appearance.
Physical Characteristics
  1. Very concerned with their appearance; very self-conscious about their physical changes.
  2. May have bad diet and sleep habits and, as a result, low energy levels.
  3. Often a rapid weight gain at beginning of adolescence/ enormous appetite
Social Characteristics
  1. Friends set the general rules of behavior.
  2. Feel a strong need to conform; dress and behave like their peers in order to “belong.”
  3. Very concerned with what others say and think about them.
  4. Have a tendency to try to manipulate others to get what they want.
  5. Go to extremes; often appear to be unstable emotionally while having a “know-it-all” attitude.
  6. Fear of ridicule and of being unpopular.
  7. Strong identification with admired adults.
Emotional Characteristics
  1. Very sensitive to praise and recognition; feelings are easily hurt.
  2. Caught between being a child and being an adult.
  3. Loud behavior may hide their lack of self-confidence.
  4. Look at the world more objectively; look at adults more subjectively, and are critical of them.
Mental Characteristics
  1. Can better understand moral principles.
  2. May have lengthy attention span.
friendsSuggested Mentor Strategies
  1. Give choices and don’t be afraid to confront inappropriate behavior.
  2. Use humor to defuse testy situations.
  3. Give positive feedback – and let them know your affection is for them, not for their accomplishments.
  4. Bea available and be yourself – with your true strengths, weaknesses, and emotions.
  5. Be honest and disclose appropriate personal information to build trust.
[Used with permission from Child Development Seminar.” Volunteer Education and Development Manual. 199 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America]

Seven independent living skills students must master before moving out on their own:
  1. Managing money.
  2. Doing laundry.
  3. Having good sleep habits - getting enough sleep and being able to wake up on time.
  4. Keeping track of appointments and deadlines.
  5. Staying on top of academic assignments.
  6. Requesting assistance when needed from tutors, counselors, and teachers - and being able to explain which accommodations are needed and why.
  7. Using medication appropriately, and getting refills before running out. The first semester or two of college is not a good time to experiment with meds.
  8. Talk with your student to gauge how well prepared he/she is to assume responsibility for these skills. Together, devise a plan to address any deficiencies.
Activity Ideas
  • Looking for new ideas or activities or things to discuss with your student? Here are a few ideas that can help.
  • If your student is new to the school, talk about what is different and what is the same. Share your own experiences with new schools and settings.
  • Ask your student what she is looking forward to most during the school year and to describe the one thing she most wants to accomplish. Tell her what you want to accomplish during the same period.
  • Investigate new things that will be happening in your community and discuss how they will affect each of you.
  • Create an imaginary time capsule. What would each of you want future generations to know? Pick a place where you would bury it and decide when it should be opened.
  • Research political positions and candidates who will be on the ballot during upcoming elections. Talk with your student about the importance of voting and describe your experiences.
  • Fly a kite in the schoolyard.
  • Help your student search the Internet for an after-school job.
  • Initiate a discussion about dream vacations. Describe your dream vacation and ask your student to do the same.
  • Read with and to your student. (Literacy is more than just being able to read and write. It is the ability to understand and communicate information and ideas by others and to others clearly and to form thoughts using reason and analysis.)
  • Read for information. Read maps, graphs, charts and recipes together. Learning how to read a bus schedule is an important skill in life.
  • If your student is older, try sharing more mature reading materials like newspapers, magazines and chapter books. Reading aloud increases your student’s listening comprehension and vocabulary. Ask your student’s teacher or school librarian to suggest books and magazines that are appropriate for your student’s age group.
Last modified: Wednesday, 20 June 2012, 11:29 AM