Social Development

  • This is the age when peer pressure has the most influence. Kids are more interested in “being the same” and “being accepted.” Thus, many will do things with others they would never do alone.
  • Relationships can become quite complex. Some kids will not speak to others. Some enjoy fighting and making up. Some relationships become very intense.
  • Some kids have large shifts in their social circles as they go through puberty. Others withdraw and avoid their peers. Some stick with their friends no matter what.
  • Many kids would rather be social than tend to their school work or other responsibilities. Emphasize how all parts of life are important.
  • Silliness can rule with some kids. Kids at this age can have a twisted sense of humor.
  • Many kids push away from their parents and want to spend most of their time with friends. Some homes become tense with young teenagers who like to argue and test. Other homes are calmer with occasional skirmishes. It all depends on the child’s personality.
  • Cliques and tight-knit groups can form. Kids become very aware of “who” is in “which group”—even if they’re not always sure where they fit.