The term “in the eye of the beholder” is probably never truer than with early adolescents. Children during these years experience tremendous changes in their physical development, and unfortunately these changes are not uniform and enormous differences exist among middle schoolers. Their size and weight is a source of constant worriment, as well as the shape and contour of their nose and ears. Their anxiety is further heightened by crooked teeth and/or acne that to them are so large and prominent that it could be a reason not to attend school or activities.
Parents can serve as a mirror for their children during these rough times. Take the time and energy to consider your comments and realize your child’s dismay can help shatter the “fun house mirror” perception of themselves and their friends.
· Don’t comment on looks… do compliment on performance.
· Don’t tease… do be sensitive to their changing physique.
· Don’t disregard a specific appearance issue… do consult a dermatologist or an orthodontist if necessary.
· Don’t dodge questions about mature issues or refer them to the other parent… do remember that boys need information about girls and vice versa!
For more information, see below: