15 Years Old
1) What activities and experiences at ages 12 and 14 has your teen been involved in that might promote healthy behavioral practices, physical fitness and skill in sports?
Mary is involved in activities like hanging out with friends after school and play sports. I do help with transportation. After two years in a volleyball team, Mary didn’t make it to the high school volleyball team. I encouraged her to explore other sports, that might interest her. Mary likes hanging out with her friends, is very socially involved in various school clubs. Mary also plays tennis with her aunt. She spends time during the summer playing and going to outings with her friends. Mary is also respectful. She demonstrated a very good behavior when a friend with different political and religious views had expressed different opinions.
2) Have there been any changes in your teen’s behavior toward you or your partner? Why are these occurring and how are you responding?
At 12, Mary was unsure and much more dependent on my partner and I. At 14, she blamed herself that my partner and I got separated. Mary’s relationship with my partner and I was more stable, now she is arguing more with both of us. I think family role, responsibilities and income have changed after my ex-partner and I got separated. Mary is experiencing stress at this point, and probably has anger towards my ex-partner and I. Still, I do respond positively to Mary. She tends to lock herself in her room for hours, and I am always inquiring if she wants to talk or if anything is disturbing her.
3) Do you see any examples of how cognitive and physical changes in early adolescence (ages 12-14) relate to your teen’s social or emotional behavior?
There are definitely changes that relate to Mary’s social and emotional behavior. Like when Mary began gaining weight in her hips because of puberty, she refused wearing certain kind of clothing that she thought that would make her look fat. Her physical changes made her feel emotionally insecure about her looks. She has a sense of imaginary audience, a feeling that everyone’s attention is on her, and she is sensitive about criticism and is extremely self-conscious. As Mary grew, she learned to respect the rights and possessions of others, and demonstrates kind behavior to others. I think her cognitive development helped her to listen to the argument of the friend that didn’t have opinions about politics and religion that were similar to Mary’s opinions.