Developmental Milestones and the Camp Experience: Ages 11-13
- Increase vocabulary to 40,000 words (nearly double from ages 8-9)
- Choose friends based on common interests, rather than parent selection
- Begin the process of sexual maturation, both physically and emotionally
- Become more interested in community goals — service to others
What's on Their Minds
- Classify or categorize each other, such as "smart," "sporty," "nerdy," etc.
- Consider dating, particularly in groups
- Become conscious and deliberate in their choice of fashion — try to develop a style
- Want to "fit in"
- Feel misunderstood by adults, especially parents
- Believe achievement (in athletics, academics, arts) becomes increasingly important
- Increase their awareness of popular culture and its clashes with parental values
Building Parent-Child Relationships
- Set boundaries that respect the strengths of adolescents
- Acknowledge and talk honestly about sexual feelings, pressures, and misconceptions. Talk openly about the value of sexual abstinence and other healthy choices
- Balance the peer pressure by continuing to express pride in your adolescent, spending time with your adolescent and his or her friends
- Reserve time for special activities with your adolescent
- Acknowledge and talk honestly about alcohol and other drug use
- Encourage healthy risk-taking, especially in athletic, artistic, and academic domains
Maximize the Camp Experience
- Include your adolescent in all important decisions about camp
- Allow child to assume responsibility for camp preparation (e.g., help to shop for necessities, help to pack, help to complete registration forms)
- Select a camp that builds on your adolescent's individual strengths
- Consider a camp that concentrates on this age group
- Arrange some practice time away from home in the months before camp starts
|Teens at Camp, Camp and Teens|
|I Believe in Camp|
|Parent — Child Relationships|
|Find a Camp|
Reprinted with the permission of the American Camp Association. © 2008 American Camping Association, Inc.
Next Article: Growth and Development, Ages 9-12
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