A Place in the World: A Teen Milestone

This post is made possible with support from the Center for Parent and Teen Communication, part of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. All opinions are my own.

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Young children are still developing the ability to think beyond themselves. That means sometimes they can seem incredibly selfish, like the entire world revolves around them, and they aren’t concerned with society or the world at large beyond what’s for lunch or where their favorite toy is. But as children grow into teens, they begin to look at their role in the world at large and their place in it.

We’ve been talking a lot about envisioning things and making something out of nothing. Since our house burned down, we talk constantly about what we want in our new house, and that leads to a lot of discussions about abstract thought and visualizing with no restrictions. If there were no rules, what would you do? What do you bring to the world?

This pretty easily translates across from home building to life at large; Max is in eighth grade now, so as we prep for high school next year, and then college just a few years after that, finding his way and making his mark are things that we all spend time thinking about.

Watching Max make these discoveries about himself and how he’ll fit in the world has been quite an adventure, and we look forward to seeing him grow into a man who is a good citizen of the world. The Center for Parent and Teen Communication provides science-based strategies to support healthy family relationships, such as this month’s Celebrate Teen Milestones project. CPTC sends a daily 100-word newsletter with bite-sized parenting advice to help you navigate these years with your teen.

Which of these milestones have you observed with your kids?

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