Many girls enter pubescence.
A fair number of youngsters will try substances that are illegal - alcohol, gas sniffing, smoking, snuff, even hard drugs.
A large number of children are also experimenting with sex.
The push to seem adult and to try prohibited "adult" action leads to an increase in accidents, and self inflicted injuries.
Children who have not begun to develop adult bodies may feel anxious, upset.
The 11-year-old profile is very divergent. Girls are usually taller, and the
height and weight of a class is unusually varied - with accompanying
attention paid to this and strong emotional feelings involved.
Menstruation may catch a girl unaware and unprepared.
Blemishes begin at this point for some youngsters and are often a source of grief.
|Industry vs. Inferiority
This age child is often filled with ambivalence. Change is a part of the age and that can be very distressing for some youngsters.
Equally unsettling may be a lack of change when peers are obviously changing. It is a difficult path.
Hormones provide some of the explanation for the mood swings and unsettled feelings.
There is a strong probability that the child has been or is choosing to be exposed to much of adult life - including sex, drugs, illicit life styles.
Obsessive-compulsive behavior increases.
Hates and loves are mercurial and may be consuming and as quickly forgotten.
Boy craziness is common in girls.
The child this age usually does a great deal of manipulating.
The child is still squarely involved in black and white reasoning.
There is evidence of a concrete individualized perception of life.
There may be a tension brewing between a desire to appear "good" and "white" while wishing to be perceived by peers as acceptable and not a "goody".
This is a vital time to explore choices and help the child steer through peer pressure, overstimulation and offers which are beyond the child's expertise and insight.
"Hero-worship" is fairly common, and may take the folk hero or Rambo persona.
Questions about religion, the nature of God and worship are often asked and become more important.
| Referent sources and
relationships flip: **Toward adults: rude, disobedient, resists limits,
and famous refrains: "You let him do it" "Everybody else does" "All
my friends are" **Toward Peers: wants a best friend, strong need approval,
wants to be seen as "in the know" cool words and profanity converse
about sex, agrees to shoplift on a dare
Wears clothes to identify with a group or image.
Often acts more self assured than actually feels.
Acute distress may occur if not able to socialize in the perceived valued way.
May act out for approval.
May become upset if peers razz or defame them.
The child is still edging toward use of a formal operations paradigm.
Problem solving may become more intentional and logical.
Students begin to state that they know things when they may not be certain. Frequently this is a signal that early adolescence is near.
Grades and success are very important to the competitive student.
Students who enjoy learning and school will become quite accomplished at the
educational skills and will exult in their abilities.
This is a good time for cooperative learning techniques.