Development Milestones for your Students: What to Expect?

Being a “teen” is a crucial time in your students life, one in which they begin to think differently, they interact with others differently and there are changes in the way their bodies grow. They grow a distinct personality at this time and they will develop a more clear identity.

Their likes and dislikes will change; they might start to get concerned about their physical characteristics such as size, height and weight. Most will start to feel an urge to get more independent as they start to wrap up high school and begin working.

So what should you expect and how should you deal with helping out your students at this crucial juncture of their life.

Read on below for a few easy tips on how to stand by your students during this vital stage of their lives.

Intellectual Development

Their Way of Thinking
At this age kids will begin to think about the future. They will have opinions about the world around them, the economy, politics, and world peace and also how these things will affect them.

They will move beyond thinking in black-and-white situations and start to have more thoughts in the gray areas about any issue. They will use new rationale to perceive an issue and act according to their new found understanding.

Interaction with Adults
Adults will find it easier to have back-and-forth conversations with older teenagers, as they are more intellectually advanced than younger teens. These older teens are more open to what other people are thinking and hence they will understand another person’s point of view better.

This makes it much simpler to build an easy-going rapport with older teens as they are able to grasp an adult’s perspectives and ideas quicker and more easily.

Developing a Sense of Reason
Kids at this age develop and strong conscience and they make decisions on what they feel to be right or wrong. They start to comprehend that their actions also have repercussions.

They will use their sense of reason to set their own goals for the future. Mostly taking their own viewpoints into account. Although most of them are open to other people’s opinions.

Emotional Development

Lack of Emotional Attachment with Parents
Teenagers at this stage don’t appreciate a lot of physical attention from their parents. Although they don’t mind physical affection from their friends. They will appreciate their siblings more than their parents.

Since they are emotionally separating from their parents, it’s natural to expect a lot of rigidity and strain in the relationship. So this will be a particularly rocky experience for both parent and child.

Not Wanting to Accompany Their Parents
Older teenagers will have a tendency to not go anywhere with their parents. They will want to be anyplace except where their parents are. This situation is likely to improve once they become ‘independent’ by moving out.

At this age they will most-likely be embarrassed by their family occasionally. So be patient with them at this stage, they will soon realize that parents aren’t as dumb as they thought and they will get back closer. Give them gender-appropriate-toys or gifts as a means to bond with them further.

Monitor their Emotional State
Teenagers have varying emotional conditions. Some are easygoing and friendly while others get angry or depressed very easily. Some of them won’t want to talk to you at all, giving you the silent treatment.

Some teenagers get involved in more serious risky behaviors, such as consuming alcohol, having unprotected sex or taking drugs. It’s very important that you establish a clear dialog with them at this stage and try and steer them away from these harmful activities. Try to help them out by talking to them, as they might be struggling with difficult issues.

Physical Development

The difference Between Boys and Girls
There is a very noticeable difference between boys and girls at this age. The boys will just about start off to grow while the girls will be slowing down. Most girls will complete their growth cycle by the time they finish high school while most boys will still be gaining more muscle and growing bigger.

Physical Needs
At this age they are likely to need more sleep, have a bigger appetite and be hungry most of the time as a result. Needing more sleep leaves them sleepy and have difficulty waking up in the morning. This might happen because they sleep late at night.

There are five stages of puberty that kids go through, so it’s normal to see them maturing at different rates. Older teenagers will mature at varying proportions throughout the high school years.

Most teenagers will feel clumsy and uncoordinated during this time. So parents need to be supportive and assure them that it’s a natural part of growing up.

Social Development

Conflict with Parents
Teenagers at this age tend to have a very strong sense of what’s right and wrong, and they will use their new found way of thinking to start a logical war-of-words with their parents.

They will try to find weak spots in your reasoning and challenge your logic with their own much thought out judgment. This has more to do with them being on a separation mode intellectually from their parents.

Making Friends
At this age teenagers rely hugely on their friends for tips and advice, be it fashion, music and other lifestyle choices. They choose friends carefully and hangout mostly with them. Younger teenagers have an eagerness to have many friends and be accepted by them.

As they get older they tend to have fewer friends and will narrow them down to a few close friends who they will spend a lot of time with.

Around their mid-teens, kids will have a deeper capacity of sharing and caring and they will start to appreciate intimate relationships more. Dating starts as they pair off into couples and it gets more pervasive.

Give them the space they need and allow them to have their special bonding as long as it remains within safe limits. They can get very attached in these relationships so it’s advised to handle it very delicately if the need arises.

This is a particularly challenging time for teenagers so just encourage your children to get at least one hour of physical activity to stay fit, eat healthy and balanced meals and get enough sleep. Also encourage them to spend more time with family. Your patience and support can get them through their “teen” years.

Stepheny is a content writer at FeedFond. She’s a loving mother to her two children and is passionate about psychology and philosophy. To read more of her articles, visit