Parenting and Behaviour in 9-11 Year Olds
JUST before a child leaves primary school to head off to the scary but very different and grown up world of secondary school, you may well start to see some significant changes with their behaviour and general attitude to life and school.
Growing UpWith the onset of puberty come complex but perfectly natural issues surrounding raging hormones, physical changes, worry about exams and academic achievements and the inevitable friendship issues and peer pressure. The final year of primary school seems to be particularly tricky for some children and particularly trying for parents and teachers!
By the time children are aged between nine and 11 they are usually fiercely independent and ready to move on. They are learning fast, becoming increasingly competitive and keen to experience new things.
It becomes harder to keep those all important boundaries in place and as our children start to mature we realise that we have to redefine our parenting skills and make some adjustments to accommodate these new ‘young people’ who seem to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere!
More FreedomChildren aged between nine and 11 will inevitably expect more freedom and to be treated differently to younger children. They will probably be nurturing interests in sport, music and fashion and their appearance will begin to become an issue.
You may find that peer pressure to look good, have the latest designer gear and to stay out late all cause problems within your boundaries and some compromises will have to be reached.
Problems And Pressures For ParentsWe all remember what we were like as teenagers, but it is crucial to acknowledge how much things have changed, and the fact that children are now exposed to far more information about society and culture than we ever were.
They have access to everything thanks to the internet and this can cause problems and pressures for parents who want to make sure their children are protected, while still wanting to afford them a little more flexibility.
Children need to be able to trust their parents and to know that they can talk to them about any problems, but this is easier said than done and many children feel anxious and awkward about discussing sensitive issues.
Most secondary schools have facilities and members of staff available for informal chats, so find out about the services available for your child so that you know that even if they find it hard to talk to you, they can always talk to someone at school.
Guidance And SupportIt is hard to accept that our children are starting to really grow up, but now is not the time to be heavy handed or too flexible. They are still children and they still need guidance and support as well as love and affection.
Children of this age group have a lot to contend with and it is a very stressful time for many of them. Their friends will become even more important to them and it is a good idea to nurture those friendships and understand that children need to spend time together and talk.
Chances are that they will also develop out of school interests and activities and you will soon become little more than a glorified taxi service! However, this is all part of growing up and children who have supportive parents who show an interest in everything they do should grow into respectful, kind and loyal young people with huge potential for success.