Social Skills: Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade You'll notice your child:

• Concentrating on establishing one or two very close friends ("best friends"), but otherwise not be as focused on friendship as you may think. At this age, children's insecurities will make it more difficult - and less important - to belong to a cohesive group. They're too preoccupied by their own lives to pay too much attention to anyone else's, so they usually hone in on one or two friends of the same age and sex. These friendships consist of constant comparisons: of physical changes, opinions, clothes, you name it. They will expect, and probably receive, loyalty from each other.

• Being very concerned with keeping up with all current "pop culture" trends: Fitting in at school often depends on what your favorite television show, musician and movie is that month. Fads are constantly changing, so don't be surprised if by the time you've finally memorized the names of the band members in his favorite pop group, he declares that the group is totally out.

• Comparing you and your family to that of his friends. This can take the popular form of "Jeremy's parents always drive him to the mall," to more pointed comments, such as, "Why don't you wear lipstick? Jenny's mother does." Take solace in the knowledge that Jenny and Jeremy's parents are probably hearing how great you are, too.

More skills and milestones:

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