Ages and Stages

12-year-old Development Milestones

The tween years are when many physical, emotional, mental, and social changes start to occur to your child. This is when your child inches closer and closer to becoming a full-fledged teenager. 

It’s normal for 12-year-olds to have moments when they still act like a child and then suddenly turn into a little adult, who seems wiser than their years. In order to be prepared for the changes that happen, it’s important to know what development occurs during this time.

Language and Cognitive Milestones

Most children tend to possess a strong command of language as well as their communication skills by the time they turn 12. Any proverbs, idioms or other figurative languages won’t fly over their heads anymore. This is usually when they start responding in sarcasm and slang.

Physical Development

12 years old is the age when puberty begins. In girls, this is when their breasts start developing, hair starts growing in the private area and is also usually when menstruation starts. 

Male puberty starts with their penis and testicles getting bigger. They will also experience hair growth in the pubic area and underarms, as well as on their face. Muscle growth is also inevitable and then, finally, the deepening of their voices. 

Emotional and Social Milestones

Around this time is when children begin exploring their sense of personal identity. Friends become more important to them and crave independence from their parents. This is when they develop a heightened level of self-consciousness and start wanting to make decisions on their own.

These developments and transitions to adolescence can be stressful for your child. It’s important to support them by letting them know what to expect and providing reassurance throughout the process. 

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