Health and Safety - Early Adolescent Years - Age 11-14 Years

Your Growing and Changing Child

  • Talk with your child about how his/her body is changing with puberty.
  • Anticipate your child’s transition into adolescence. They will experience body changes, may have mood swings and experience peer pressure. As part of this transition, our doctors do speak to your child alone during their office visit to give them a chance to share any concerns they may have.
  • Encourage your child to brush his/her teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
  • Help your child get to the dentist twice a year.
  • Serve healthy food and eat together a s a family often.
  • Encourage your child to get 1 hour of vigorous physical activity every day.
  • Help your child limit screen time (TV, video games, or computer) to 2 hours a day not including homework time.
  • Help your child with organizing time if he or she needs it.

Healthy Behavior Choices

  • Make sure your child knows how you feel about alcohol and drug use.
  • Talk about relationships, sex, and values and encourage your child not to have sex.
  • If you are uncomfortable talking about puberty or sexual pressures with your child please ask us, or others you trust for reliable information that can help you.
  • Use clear and consistent rules and discipline with your child.

Feeling Happy

  • Help your child figure out healthy ways to deal with stress.
  • Know your child’s friends and their parents, where your child is, and what he/she is doing at all times.
  • If you are concerned that your child is sad, depressed, nervous, irritable, hopeless, or angry, talk with me. 

School and Friends

  • Check in with your child’s teacher about his/her grades on tests and attend back-to-school events and parent-teacher conferences if possible.
  • Talk with your child as he/she takes over responsibility for schoolwork.
  • Help your child with organizing time. Encourage reading.
  •  Help your child find activities he/she is really interested in, besides schoolwork.
  • Begin to talk with your child about community service and community responsibility.

 Car Safety

  • Make sure everyone always wears a seat belt in the car

Many of these suggestions come from the American Academy of Pediatrics 
Bright Futures Recommendations.

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