Your Child Today: Late Elementary

Preparing for Puberty

Next to being born, puberty may well be the most drastic change we experience in life.

And for many children, the months and years leading up to puberty can be difficult as well.

Even before your child experiences physical changes, her body is preparing for this next step. As the hormones begin to do their job, your child?s fluctuating moods will reflect that inner turmoil. As one parent said about her preteen daughter, "Ashley went to bed one night as an optimistic, confident 10-year-old with a world of friends, but woke up the next day as a disjointed, moody person who hated the world and everyone in it."

The late elementary years are bound to be a little tough for any kid. Not quite grown up, but no longer a child, your child is struggling to figure out where he fits. Your daughter may go to school wearing a bra and a splash of your favorite afterbath spray, then come home, throw on a pair of torn jeans, and climb into a tree fort with the neighborhood kids. The home run hitter who slides into base and smiles at a cute girl may still ask you to cuddle with before he falls asleep at night? and it?s all normal!

Outwardly, your late elementary child is a passionate bundle of energy and enthusiasm; inwardly, she might live with a growing sense of insecurity. This insecurity can affect everything from her feelings about school or her family to her relationship with God. It?s essential that you stay connected to your child during this time, even if she seems to push you away. She needs to know you?re available any time she needs to talk about the changes she?s experiencing.

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