What to Expect: Age 11
Your eleven-year-old is rapidly approaching the dramatic teenage years that many parents have come to dread. However, this is still an age where you can enjoy the last remnants of their childhood days. Many parents often try to skip over these awkward in-between stages with their children, but they are filled with extremely precious moments.
Enjoy all of the emotional and social growth that is sure to take place this year.
It can help parents to adequately prepare if they know what to expect from the year ahead. What kind of changes will your eleven-year-old go through this year? Each child will be unique in their approach to these basic milestones. This guide should give you a basic idea of what changes you can anticipate.
Social and Emotional Development
By eleven years old, many children will have already made the full-fledged leap into their friendships. Independence is something they are willing to fight for, even if they lack the maturity to handle it. Parents and their opinions start to become less important as children navigate the murkier waters of social cliques.
Peer pressure may be a prominent concern this year, so be sure to have plenty of open conversations with your child. You may have to give them clear directions about the difference between right and wrong. Discussing important topics like drinking and drugs can be crucial at this age.
Children who have a difficult time socially may have low self-esteem. This poor self-image can lead to negative decisions and increased susceptibility to peer pressure. Parents can help to combat these issues by encouraging their child and building them up. Quality time is essential to make this difference in your child’s life.
It isn’t uncommon for parents to start seeing the first signs of puberty in their children at this age. You may start to notice outward signs such as breast development, voice changes, oily skin, or body hair growth. All of these are completely normal indicators that your child is likely to undergo a physical transformation in the coming years.
In particular, it is common for your child’s growth spurt to continue at this age. Don’t be surprised to hear your child complain of growing pains or muscle cramps during this time. They may eat larger portions at mealtimes and spend more time asleep than they did previously. Both of these are signs of a growth spurt.
Your child may develop a lot more cognitively this year, but much of it is related to their social growth. An eleven-year-old is capable of understanding a friend’s perspective, and they are also able to understand the idea of secrets and privacy. Their ability to see other’s points of view allows them to argue and understand multiple sides of a particular issue.
They may begin to use social media more regularly to gather opinions from their friends and gain information. Parents will need to monitor their use of this platform closely to ensure that their children are practicing good safety habits.
There are a lot of important milestones for parents to look forward to in the coming year. From the physical changes to the increased capacity for social interactions, your child is growing at a stunning rate. Take time to enjoy these last few moments before your child grows even more independent in their teen years.