A Boy at Thirteen - No Longer a Child But Not Yet a Man

9:03 PM

A boy at thirteen is no longer a child but not yet a man. He maintains dependence in some areas while trying to find his independence. To a loving mother though, he remains her child, her baby, if you may, no matter old he gets to be.

From Baby to Pre-Schooler

Children at this stage are characterized by complete physical and emotional dependence on their parents and caretakers. The initial bond between parent and child is developed at this time because this is a period of discovery for both. A parent will learn that each child is an individual being that will require his or her support, guidance, and respect.

Even when a child gains a certain degree of physical independence in toddler years, emotional dependence will continue. This is the stage where the parents words constitute the "truth" for their children. However, this is also the time when children learn to say "no" thus this is the proper time as well to teach children that others may say "no" to them as well.

From School Age to Tween

As children are exposed to other people, they develop the confidence to think and act on their own. Some develop new idols in the person of their teachers or other personalities they decide to emulate. They begin to experiment with limitations, rules, and standards.

Parents must take care to develop a behavioral code for their children early on which can guide them as they go out into the world. It will be the factor that can keep them in the right path even without the constant presence of parents. Tweens tend to prefer that parents adopt a low profile especially in front of their peers. Parents can do this without releasing control over their young children.

Teenage Life

Teenage life is said to be the most crucial since decisions made during this stage can have life-defining effects on adult life. Even when teenagers can physically pass-off as adults, this doesn't mean that they have gained emotional and psychological maturity. This is the stage where social pressures are the greatest but it is also the time where opportunities for self-development and fulfillment in preparation for the future are abundant.

Teenagers don't need their parents any less than infants. The only difference lies in where the support is needed. Children who have been guided by their parents in all phases usually turn out successful in adult life.

My Say

The physical changes came first and then the behavioral. The changes weren't sudden but I was taken aback just the same. My son was getting older and so was I and I don't know which bothered me more. All I knew is that there are going to be changes in our family routine very soon and I don't know how I'm going to fare this time around in handling it.

That said, it isn't as if I have not gone through this before. In fact, I have with my eldest daughter. Still, the road to independence of every child does not always follow a strict path. It is always as unique as every child in the family is.

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