No one can guarantee that young adolescents will grow into responsible and competent adults. Your influence on your young teen, however, is enormous. Yes, on a bad day the smelly sneakers and mood swings may push you to your limits. But it is critical to remain involved. It's when you are ready to throw up your hands in frustration that you most need to hang in.
Learning as much as you can about the world of early adolescents is an important step toward helping your childand youthrough the fascinating, confusing and wonderful years from 10 through 14. As middle school teacher Emily Hutchison from Texas puts it, early adolescence is "never dull, never boring." Stay tuned to the life of your young teen and enjoy this special time.