Emotional Changes: Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade You may sense your adolescent is:

• Forming a strong opinion of what's right and wrong. While moral certainty will help guide her through troubling times, she can seem rigid in her beliefs and see things only in black-and-white terms. Your arguments could begin with her declaration that you are simply "wrong" about something, then refuse to listen to your explanation.

• Wanting to assert his independence. He has started to see himself as an individual and a member of a peer group, as opposed to "just one of the family." His desire for freedom from the family can manifest itself in his refusal to come to the table for dinner on time, or sulking through an otherwise happy event, such as a relative's birthday party.

• Shifting between wanting to be responsible for herself and asking to be "babied." This springs from a basic misunderstanding: When she says "responsible," she probably means, "I can stay out as late as I want because I'm responsible enough to take care of myself." When you say "responsible," you probably mean, "Feed the puppy we bought for you with the understanding that you'd be responsible for his care."

More skills and milestones:

 

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