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Celebrating Milestones with Your Teenager

Every parent knows what it’s like celebrating an infant’s milestones, but how many actually realise that teenagers have milestones too! Although they may be fewer and further in between, teens do experience some pretty big milestones. So, just for fun, why not jot them down in your memory book as well? Someday your kids will look back on their teen years and maybe have a good laugh at how important everything seemed to them then during those awkward years. As a parent you might want to know what those milestones are because, quite frankly, many of us simply aren’t aware of those stressful moments as being major milestones in the life of their child.

How Teenage Milestones Are Categorised

There probably isn’t a parent alive who hasn’t been heard to say, at least on one occasion, that their teenager is just going through a rough patch or a growth spurt or simply chalking that odd behaviour up to puberty. However, these are actually developmental milestones that every teen experiences and perhaps if you recognise how they are categorised you just might be a little more patient when you see the signs. In fact, the experts classify these developmental milestones in three distinct categories which include physical, cognitive and social development.

Physical Development

Physical milestones in a teen are perhaps the easiest to recognise. This is where girls’ bodies begin to change. They begin menstruating and their breasts begin to become larger. There is no mistaking the physical signs of maturation in a teenage girl. Boys, however, take a bit more awareness in order to recognise the signs of physical development. The most notable is their voices that begin to deepen. However, boys will also undergo a much more radical ‘growth spurt’ and have been known to grow as many as 8 centimetres in a single summer! The one word of caution when charting physical development milestones in the life of your teen is that some of your ‘notes’ in the memory book can create a bit of embarrassment, so choose your words wisely.

Cognitive Development

The teenage years are a time when your child begins to actually begin reasoning things out as an adult. This is a time when they begin preparing to step out into the world as an adult. It is also a time when they begin to be able to understand concepts that are purely abstract. You will find that your child begins studying in a new way and instead of simply memorising facts they begin to piece them together in a causal relationship. They, at this point in their lives, begin fitting everything into a contextual setting, within the larger scheme.

Social Development

Humans are social by nature and so it is with teens. However, teens take social relationships to extremes and are very much influenced by their peers. Most teens begin dating at this time and will assure you that their current girlfriend or boyfriend is the ‘love of their life.’ As a parent you know this is just one of many loves they will probably experience during their lives before finding ‘the one.’ Also, teens begin to become much more independent of their parents, begin learning to drive and no longer see relationships as family centric. Teens want to prove their own identity, will study hours to pass their driving test and may even willingly go the extra mile by studying for that all-important license on sites like toptests.co.uk. Never discourage a teenager from seeking his or her independence because those adult years are just around the corner. Guide them, yes, but don’t dampen their need for a self-identity. This is the foundation for all that comes later.

These are the types of milestones that you should be aware of in the life of your teen. Those awkward moments signal a change taking place in their bodies and minds. Encourage them to think independently and by all means, do take a few notes for the memory book. All too often we forget those ‘precious moments’ which will someday be more important than you know to your son or daughter. Why stop memory books when children become teens? These are milestones which should be celebrated as well, but perhaps a bit more surreptitiously. Later in life your child will look back on these years and laugh so give them the memories they need. No, the teen years are not easy, but they are important in the development of your child so document them well. Someday they’ll thank you for the memories.

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