Changes in the body, in the mind, in the way of relating to those around him… Pre-adolescence can be described as that typical feeling of butterflies in the stomach, whether in a moment of fear, embarrassment or anxiety. This is a phase that seems to encompass all the aforementioned emotions at once.
Not only does age determine the arrival of pre-adolescence, other circumstances also mark the beginning of this moment that older people describe as “complicated”. Leave that pessimistic look aside! This is one more stage of life, among many others, that will not last forever and that will serve as maturation.
What is the age of pre-adolescence?
The age of pre-adolescence can vary according to the public policies of a place, social factors and even biological issues that are present in the human body during this phase.
For example, for the World Health Organization (WHO), the idea that adolescence lasts from 10 to 19 years is defended, with: 10 to 14 years being the pre-adolescence period; 15 to 19 years complete adolescence time.
However, for the Child and Adolescent Statute (ECA), in force since 1990, pre-adolescence is marked by the age group from 10 to 12 years old. Anyway, regardless of the reference that will be established, some signs can demonstrate that the person is in pre-adolescence.
What is pre-teen behavior like?
First, calm down , mom or dad! It is common to find associations of pre-adolescence with phrases such as “worst time of life” or “most difficult period for the family”. The truth is that you, as an adult, were once a preteen and you know how this whirlwind of change can be.
And even if the generations are different, the biological signs are the same: in girls , there is the appearance of a breast bud (a small lump in the breasts that causes them to gradually grow), the appearance of pubic and axillary hair and the first menstruation ( menarche).
In boys , the first beards appear, as well as changes in voice, signs of laryngeal prominence (the popular gogó), shoulders and trunks become wider and the size and diameter of the penis also change.
Regarding preteen behavior , there is no universal rule that your child will either become a rebel or be angry about everything. In fact, it’s natural for the pre-teen to seem more irritable or introspective, because of the hormonal changes that are happening.
Unfulfilled agreements, shyness around parents, complaints and even an increase in arguments at home can mark this phase, but that doesn’t mean it will be definitive. Your child ‘s personality , as well as all his experiences , also influence the way he relates to those around him.
How to help pre-teens at school?
The pre-adolescent has new interests and, consequently, distractions that can affect school performance. Especially these days, when everyone is surrounded by smartphone or computer screens, it’s almost impossible not to fall into the temptation of putting things aside to be able to play a little more, for example.
Paying attention to their children’s performance in school is something that parents should maintain even after childhood. It is important for parents to take a moment each day to talk about what students are learning and how their relationship with other classmates has been. Conflicts between students can undermine this dedication.
It is also up to the school to observe if there are changes in the student’s behavior in the classroom or in another environment. If there is any exclusion factor in relation to the others in the class or if there was a drop in grades and an increase in absences. Giving openness to pre-teens, such as offering support and encouraging conversations around this phase, makes them feel more comfortable in seeking help.
Best books for pre-teens
Supporting reading during this period is also a way to encourage them to study. Below, we separate a list of 10 books for those who are in pre-adolescence. The works deal with the most varied topics, from stories so that they can travel in their imagination, to subjects that parents are not always prepared to address in a conversation.
- 1) The Drug of Obedience, by Pedro Bandeira;
- 2) Learning to Fly, by Erin Kelly;
- 3) My Life Out of Series, by Paula Pimenta;
- 4) Love, Simon, by Becky Albertalli;
- 5) After the Fifteen: When Everything Began to Change, Bruna Vieira;
- 6) A Sheet of Infinite Threads, by Susana Ventura;
- 7) Alone in the World, Marcos Rey;
- 8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky;
- 9) The Case of the Atíria Butterfly, by Lúcia Machado de Almeida;
- 10) Confessions of an Excluded Girl, by Thalita Rebouças.
Suggestions vary from both national and international works; classics of Brazilian literature, to contemporary ones. The options can also be brought into the classroom , in the form of assignments or interpretive activities.