The Twixt Twelve-Year-Old

Photograph by Jeff Woodward.Closer to teenagers than to middle childhood, twelves are tweens. They have enormous positive energy for independent and group endeavors, whether at school, in sports, or in after-school activities.

Twelves generally demonstrate confidence and friendliness in their approach and responses to adults outside the home. They’re eager to grow in their skill competencies, academic or otherwise. They get deeply invested in project-based or ser­vice learning and can develop meaningful relationships with people outside their core peer group. “Gregarious” is a word well-suited to twelves.

In school, twelve-year-olds make wonderful one-to-one tutors for younger children—or helpers in preschool or kindergarten.

Democracy and responsibility are important to twelve-year-olds. They thrive with their first forays into student government, serving on a social committee, running a school store, helping in the school office, managing daily announcements, producing a TV show for closed-circuit broadcast, taking charge of all-school meetings, serving as peer mediators, being in plays and musical productions, or playing in the band. Many children demonstrate amazing leadership potential at this age.


In this series based on Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4–14, Chip Wood focuses on the positive developmental attributes generally present in children at different ages.

 

Tags: 7th Grade, Adolescent Development, Middle School, Yardsticks Series

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