Social and emotional development: 13 year olds

Adolescence is a time of growth, development and change. Your teen will develop emotionally and socially as well as physically.  This development may appear to occur smoothly, but there are things happening in your teen’s social and emotional development that will determine their identity and who they are going to be.
 
While changes will happen at different ages for everyone, teens of different ages will have different social and emotional focuses and behaviours. Here is a list of them from ages 13 to 18:
 
At age 13, teens are dealing with the physical and emotional changes in the form of puberty.
 
Change is never easy and your 13 year old will be dealing with the biggest change of her life. This will call your teen to feel uncertain, moody, and be hyper-sensitive to what others think of them, especially their peers.
 
Some of the emotional changes and concerns, your 13 year old will face includes:
  • Mood swings and moodiness: raging hormones and school stresses or peer problems can result in some extreme mood swings. Be comforted by the fact that this behaviour is actually normal! However, it’s always wise to make sure there is nothing they need help with, like bullying issues.
  • Worrying about being normal and fitting in: 13 year olds are particularly sensitive to fitting in. They may worry over anything that is different about them and will wonder if there is something abnormal or wrong with them. Girls may worry why some of her classmates are already filling out and wonder if she will ever get out of her training type bras. While boys may worry why some of their classmates are taller than them. Remember, just because these worries don’t seem sensible to you, doesn’t mean they aren’t real worries to your child. Assure them they are perfectly normal and everyone develops at different stages.
  • Need for privacy: Your 13 year old will need to have personal space. Start knocking on their bedroom door before entering and never enter the bathroom while your teen is in there.
Other Emotional Development Issues for 13 Year Old Teens include:
  • Your teen may feel like they are being watched and judged
  • They are very concerned about body image
  • They may have low self-esteem
  • They are likely to think their parents don’t know what they are feeling
  • Feelings of anger and hurt can result in tears over almost anything.
Concerned that your 13 year old Teen's Development Isn't Normal?
Many parents of 13 year old teens worry that they socially and emotionally developing either too fast or not fast enough. It is also at this age that parents begin to see warning signs of substance abuse or signs of mental health problems. Adolescence is frequently the time when social and emotional problems arise. If you suspect this is the case for your teen, you should seek help immediately.
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