The development of a 12 year old is characterized by great physical and psychological changes taking place in a child’s body. The body of a 12-year-old child changes very fast. Metabolism speeds up considerably and the hormonal changes of the whole body begin. The state of mind and physiology of a 12 year old child changes and puberty begins. Because of all these changes, the child’s character and behavior may change in a short period of time.
It is also important to notice that the physiological development of 12 year old girls lags behind that of boys. Naturally, social activity, sexual preferences, and maturing of girls and boys are different. We will consider some details of the development of a 12 year old below. What are the differences between girls and boys?
12 year old development: girls
It should be noticed that a child who is maturing is very individual. Puberty begins in every child when the time for it comes. It depends mostly on the genetic makeup of a child. Periods and puberty in girls happen between the ages of 10 and 14, on average. There is even a case where a first period appeared at the age of 7. It would be better for parents to inform their children of the details of development beforehand. Parents should explain to their children why changes in their bodies are taking place and how to deal with them.
The age of 12, in girls, is characterized by changes in their body shape. Puberty in girls is characterized by a great number of changes. In the beginning, the shapes of the breasts change. Mammary glands begin to grow. Then, pubic hair develops. Girls at 12 grow faster and gain weight. The next step inpubertyis the change of pubic hair structure and development of hair at the armpits. The first period, or menarche, happens as a result of the internal and external body changes of a girl. At this point, she can give birth to her own children. Complete puberty occurs only 5 years after periods have started.
Together with the body, the girls’ state of mind also changes significantly. From now on, her appearance and attractiveness are very important characteristics.
Sometimes these changes occurring in girl’s body may scare her. This happens due to lack of knowledge of her physiology. But for most girls, the onset of periods means the beginning of adolescent life. They are proud of it and try to imitate adults. By providing a good example, parents may instill the proper attitudes toward males, increased self-assessment, and development of self-esteem.
During this period, girls may easily take interest in the opposite sex. This is why parents should respect their daughter’s opinions and feelings.
12 years old development: boys
As it was mentioned earlier, puberty in boys happens later. But this is in regards to the visible body changes of a child. Changes that help the boy to become a man have already began in his body.
Puberty in boys starts with the hormonal changes of their bodies. There are two details of hormonal changes in 12 year old boys: testicular growth and pubic hair development. These changes are not very evident. When they begin, these hormonal changes have an effect on the child's behavior.
Psychological changes in a 12 year old child are caused by an aspiration for an independent life. That is why some boys may try to live independently, under the influence of a negative domestic environment, or other reasons.
Some boys at this age may be very aggressive towards other children of their age. It is more likely they will be aggressive towards girls to whom they feel sexually attracted to. This happens because a child cannot control all these new feelings driven by hormones.
It is necessary for parents to keep a close relationship with their son at this age. They also should try not to prevent him from his goals of independence and self-assertion. Parents need to practice care and balance, and encourage independence.
During puberty, both girls and boys change significantly physically and psychologically. We have described some differences in the development of 12 year old. The parents’ task is to be ready for changes in behavior and in the state of mind of their child, and to gently correct their child’s behavior for the better.