Age: 13 - 14 Years

13 - 14 Years


PUBERTY: This stage of life is heralded by the start of sexual development. This is soon followed by a growth spurt. Girls usually start their sexual development about 1-2 years earlier than boys. Girl’s breasts start to develop and girls and boys start growing genital hair. It is important to discuss these changes with your child to help reduce anxiety.

LEARNING: School achievement is very important for children of this age. Reading, writing and arithmetic should be the focus of learning. Make sure your child takes responsibility for bringing home schoolwork and has a place to study at home. Be sure to read at every opportunity with your child and discuss the book. Let your child read and tell you stories from books.

The parent of the same gender as the child plays a particularly important role at this time. Despite the attention given to popular culture heroes, role-modeling by parents is very important. Try to develop an open relationship with your child, one where the child feels comfortable and secure in discussing difficult issues with you. Try to keep judgment and condemnation to a minimum.

TV: Limit television and electronic games to a total of 1-2 hours per day. Do not put a television in your child’s bedroom. Carefully select the television programs you allow your child to view. Be sure to watch some of the programs with your child and discuss the show later.



DENTAL CARE: Your child should brush 1-2 times each day. Keep flossing daily & continue regular dental checkups.

NUTRITION: Teach your child to eat a well balanced, healthy diet. Avoid junk food and empty calories such as soda. Teach your child to eat until he/she is full, rather than eating until “your plate is empty”.

Having many or most meals together as a family is desirable. Mealtime is a great time to allow your child to tell you of his day, interests, concerns and worries. Let your child have plenty of opportunity to participate in the discussion at the table.



Continue to focus on preventing injuries. Accidents are the number one cause of deaths in children. Kids like to take risks at this age but are not well prepared to judge the degree of those risks. Your child still needs supervision. Some recommendations include:

  1. Have your child wear a bike helmet.
  2. Make your home and yard child proof. Be especially aware of locking weapons. Be sure firearms are left unloaded.
  3. Continue to be aware of sun safety. Use sun block. Check moles and freckles regularly. Let us know if you have concerns.
  4. Parents are influential in teaching children to avoid drugs, alcohol & tobacco. Use of these substances is starting at younger and younger ages. Peer pressure is frequently a problem. Talk to your children about these problems. Be alert and watch for sudden changes in behavior, friends, school and work. Teach them why it is in their best interest to avoid these substances. Let us know if you have concerns.

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