Journal Entry 7: Adolescent physical and cognitive development
Raise your child to the age of 18 years, then select one of the following questions to respond to in your journal. Make sure you reference different events in your child’s life, using your textbook and other reliable sources for support.(Each journal entry should be a minimum of 2 pages, double-spaced, about 500 to 700 words Times New Roman font size 12)
What activities and experiences at ages 12 and 14 has your teen been involved in that might promote healthy behavioral practices, physical fitness, and skill in sports?
*Important Information*In these scenarios, I am the FATHER
Theodora at 12 years old
Theodora sometimes dawdles at chores, or gets distracted and leaves the chores unfinished.
- You give Theodora a weekly allowance that is based on the number and type of chores done.
Theodora began to argue with you and your partner more in 7th grade. She argues mostly about clothes, bedtime, and chores, but otherwise you get along pretty well. One thing that bothers your partner is Theodora’s attempts to play her off against you. You renegotiate household rules more with Theodora than you used to, and make reasonable concessions, such as a later bedtime in exchange for more chores.
Occasionally Theodora has some sullen or cranky moods, but mostly is calm, cheerful, and joking around when at home with the family.
- Whenever she is a little cranky, you ask Theodora if anything has happened to upset her, but Theodora says “no” and doesn’t seem to want to talk about it.
Theodora did very well at learning the flute and now plays in the middle school band. She sings and accompanies herself on the piano, having picked up that skill primarily on her own. You enjoy listening to her perform and all you have to do is provide occasional reminders to practice!
Theodora has been getting teased for not wearing a bra. Lately, she’s been begging your partner for a push-up bra.
- Your partner buys her the bra, but explains that she shouldn’t care or be influenced by what other people think.
Theodora’s oral reading, decoding, reading comprehension, spelling and writing skills are above grade level, and she is busy writing stories and experiences down into her journal. You encourage any reading interests and provide praise and helpful feedback for Theodora’s writing efforts.
Theodora is self confident and relaxed in social situations. She has some close friends, seems to be somewhat of a leader in the group, and is not pushy or overbearing.
- You realize that Theodora enjoys these kinds of positive peer experiences, so you seek them out for Theodora whenever possible (e.g., scouts, teams, school activities).
Theodora is in the gifted and talented program at her school, and seems to be engaged and challenged. You notice a slight decrease in her level of confidence in math and language arts and you wonder what is going on.
- You help her find some special area where she can really excel (e.g., writing a story, joining a debate team, or entering a math contest, etc.)
Theodora has been thinking about religion lately even though as a family, you don’t attend a place of worship. Spurred on by some friends who follow different faiths or no faith at all, she has been watching videos about various world religions on the internet and suggests she might go to a friend’s place of worship.
- You let Theodora develop her own opinions about the topic. You have always tried to encourage critical thinking skills and this seems like an appropriate time to continue doing so.
The other day Theodora announced, “I’m too fat!” She has had a growth spurt, and was taller and leaner for a while at ages 10-11, but now her body has started changing and she is gaining weight in the hips, etc. She has taken to staring at herself in the mirror, and refusing to wear certain clothes that she thinks accentuate her “weight problem.”
- You listen sympathetically, and explain that girls sometimes gain a little weight during puberty, but that she should not worry about it.
Theodora has shown an increased interest in boys, particularly various “hottie” celebrities. You also notice she is more interested in articles about sex in teen and women’s magazines.
- Your sister sees to it that Theodora gets a couple of fairly mature books about relationships, and tells her she would love to talk about the books.
There’s a program at Theodora’s school with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). You are trying to figure out if STEM is a good idea for Theodora. The school recommends it even for children who don’t like or who aren’t at a high level already in math and science.
- You enroll Theodora right away. What an amazing opportunity!
Theodora spends a lot of time during the summer hanging out at the mall or the movies with some friends. She needs money for these outings, so in addition to regular chores, you have her do some much-needed things around your place for extra money.
Theodora was really anxious for summer to begin, and is having fun, but as soon as the school supplies are in the store, she wants to get her 8th grade notebook, etc. You realize the choice of notebook and the decoration of it with photos and sayings is part of her identity.
Theodora occasionally gets bored over the summer, and doesn’t initially seem to like any of your suggestions about what to do, but you notice she starts in on some of them later as if it was her own idea. She usually is anxious to show you the latest results on her project when you come home from work. You have a little lighter work schedule over the summer, and are able to take Theodora and her sister out to the movies or for dessert on some weeknights. You also plan some interesting outings and a couple of 3-day weekends, as well as a short family vacation hiking in the mountains.
You got Theodora’s 7th grade report card early in the summer. Some highlights of the report card:
She got A’s in the gifted and talented English-Social Studies core course and in Spanish. The teacher commented that Theodora was becoming very good at analyzing literature and was quite a good writer as well.
She listens attentively, follows directions, and follows school rules.
Her word reading and spelling skills are solid.
Theodora was in 7th grade chorus and in the band, and got an A grade and a note of appreciation for her fine efforts from both the chorus teacher and the band director.
Theodora consistently contributes to cooperative group activities and respects the rights and possessions of others, has consistently appropriate social interaction with peers, and even seems to be a kind of peer leader.
She is quite effective at time management, and highly consistent in working independently in the classroom and on homework. She has almost no problems completing assignments and turning them in on time.
Theodora took art in 7th grade as an option, and got an A.
She got an A in the gifted and talented math class and in science. The math and science teachers both wrote notes indicating they thought Theodora should be given extra enrichment in these areas. They recommended 8th grade Honors math, which was basically high school geometry, and an after school science club in 8th grade. Theodora already knows about these options and is interested.
Theodora at 14 Years Old
Theodora was on the Internet recently when she suddenly became very angry and unleashed some bad language you didn’t even know she had. Over the next few hours, Theodora was furiously typing on the family computer or her Smartphone. As far as you could tell, Theodora was hurling insults at and receiving insults from a former friend, and seeking support from current friends. You finally had to impose a daylong “timeout” from all devices to calm things down.
Theodora tried out for the high school soccer team and made it! She still enjoys soccer and seems to be very serious about learning every aspect of the game. You are happy she is having such a good time with the sports and enjoy going to the games.
Theodora seems energized by all the possibilities in 9th grade, and has been hanging out with some new friends, and getting involved in a couple of clubs. Sometimes her friends come over to your place and you generally like them.
- You do what you can to facilitate these new friendships and activities.
Theodora occasionally gets upset and becomes cranky or gives you and your partner the silent treatment when you have discussions about issues such as bedtime, chores, curfew, clothing choices, music choices, etc., but otherwise you get along pretty well. Your ex-partner cautions patience based on memories of her own teenage years. You agree because you often have a feeling you aren’t going to get anywhere by continuing the discussion, so you drop it and let her calm down for a while before speaking to her again.
Theodora has a crush on a 9th grade boy at her school, and spends a lot of time text messaging him. You find out from her that the boy is an honors student and on the Junior Varsity basketball team. She comes to you excitedly one day and says he has invited her out on a date. Either you or the boy’s parents would have to drive them to and from the movie they plan to attend.
- You are uncomfortable with a solo date at this point in time, but it would be OK if they went in a group.
Theodora has been working hard in 9th grade and has some good grades to show in the current progress report. You say you’re proud of her and celebrate by going out to dinner at her favorite restaurant.
Some of the experiences of high school are stressful for Theodora, such as hurtful things said by a friend, or lost homework. She usually shrugs these off and stays in a good mood. You notice that she has the beginnings of some good coping mechanisms such as calming down by going for a walk or venting by text messaging a friend.
- You let Theodora have her space and listen to her troubles if she wants to talk.
Sadly, Theodora has been bullied online. The bully goes by an alias name so Theodora cannot actually identify the person. The bullying involved teasing along with some pretty offensive language.
- You report the cyberbullying to the social media site (and the high school principal’s office) and keep the lines of communication open so that Theodora can come talk to you if needed.
Theodora is looking forward to taking several art/design classes and is pleased that there are so many to choose from.
- She decides to try drawing first.
Theodora has a more abstract understanding of people and personalities now. For instance, she points out ways in which her personality is like one parent or the other.
- You try to joke around about some of the quirky, or comical traits of each particular parent and child.
Theodora mentions that she had a long conversation with another student on a bus about all kinds of issues on which they disagreed, such as religion and politics. Theodora listened to the other person’s point of view, but when she came home, she wanted to tell you all about her own viewpoints.
- You believe that it is healthy for Theodora to explore alternative political and religious viewpoints, so you read editorials from opposing political factions, and arrange for Theodora to talk to some friends and co-workers who follow different faiths.
Theodora and some of her friends went camping with a close friend’s parents. Theodora had a great time, and learned to use a compass to navigate in the woods.
Over the summer, Theodora had big plans to get some projects started, get involved more in sports or clubs, and hang out with friends. She has gone on a few outings with friends and started one project at home, but sometimes complains of being bored. You remind her about the other plans and offer your help if needed.
Over the summer, Theodora has been less cooperative with your requests and is spending more and more time with friends. Sometimes you are able to shuttle Theodora and her friends around, but it isn’t always possible for either parent to monitor Theodora because of your jobs. You let her go, but require that she always be reachable by cell phone, and if she is not available, or does not follow either parent’s instructions about being home at a certain time, or lies about where she has been, she gets grounded.