Don’t we want our kids to be happy with themselves just the way they are? Aren’t we just a little disheartened when we see them comparing themselves to others . . . and worse yet, feeling that they don’t measure up?
We all compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we adults are the biggest culprits. It’s simply human nature. Yet as we watch our teens do it, we want to steer them the other way. As Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
As our kids develop and step on the fast track of puberty, they are always looking around: Who’s taller? Who’s faster? Who’s developing first — and why is it me? Or not me?
Have you ever thought of the Paradox of Pre-Teens?
It is this.
They all want to be uniquely
As much as our pre-teens strive for unique independence, they want to seamlessly fit in. It’s the nature of the beast.
Boys at this age are often pre-occupied with when and how they will experience the changes associated with puberty and adolescence — from when they will grow taller to when their voices will change and when they will grow facial hair. They may be concerned that they are not developing or growing fast enough.
In the midst of all this, here are a few things parents (and caregivers) can do to support them on the way:
Remind your son that everybody develops at different times and at different rates (just like he and his friends learned to walk, talk, and throw a ball at different times and at different rates)
Share with him some of your experiences related to the onset of puberty (specifically sharing some of Dad’s growth patterns and experiences may be helpful predictors to what your son may experience — and when)
Praise your son for his unique talents and abilities
And, if you want to give your son a good, clear idea of what will happen (and when it just might happen), check out my book . . . and main character Bork, who leads boys through an engaging journey of all things puberty and adolescence.