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As is often said, children do not come with an instruction manual under their arm, something that could be very useful in certain stages marked by changes such as preadolescence.
However, identify the symptoms and knowing how to accompany our children at this stage it is at our fingertips thanks to tools such as observation, listening and empathy.
During preadolescence, many physical and psychological changes occur. Also emotional. Preadolescence is the stage where we have the greatest capacity for learning and the greatest interest in learning new things. In addition, moral conflicts, concepts such as fair and unfair, good and bad, begin to be habitual in their thoughts.
- Physical changes
In girls the chest increases, the hips widen and their muscles are refined. In children, however, this physical development is more gradual, although there may be the so-called 'stretch' (a marked growth in a short time).
- Emotional changes
Both boys and girls begin to give greater relevance to 'friendship'. Groups (or gangs) of friends form that support each other and become more united. Boys opt for more active games, while girls begin to give more time to 'talks'. In both, sensitivity to social issues is heightened and their mood swings are more evident.
It is summary: a stage of change and needs to which many times we are not used to paying attention. It is essential to be aware that we are going to have to live this path together with them, so the best way to help them is from the accompaniment and not from the position of protective parents.
It is at this time of preadolescence when parents begin to lose control, although we have several tools to detect these problems:
We must observe the changes that our children experience, but without judging or interpreting, since if we begin to question them, it could possibly be a first step towards withdrawal.
2. The listening
Active listening that helps us understand what is happening to them. Only by listening can we discover what those unmet needs are.
We usually get into the game of advice or of imposing our point of view without giving explanations. Empathy, however, requires us to empty our minds of ego and put ourselves in the shoes of our children. This task is, without a doubt, one of the hardest that a father or mother has.
That is, we cannot forget what they feel and that if we want them to trust us, they must not have the feeling that what their parents want is simply to satisfy their own desires.
Therefore, we must make them understand what our role is in all this, which is none other than to help them begin to find solutions to their problems. For something, preadolescence is that first stage before beginning puberty and, ultimately, the moment when the first signs of independence appear.
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