Understanding 12 -14-Year-Olds
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
£13.95; ISBN: 1843103672
STAR RATING: 5/5
How many times have we heard a stressed parent ask “what has gone
wrong with my child – they used to be so quiet and lovely?”.
Understanding 12-14-Year-Olds attempts to answer this by
addressing the transition from childhood to becoming a young
person, writes Andrew Dalton.
The book supports the idea that this “gap” is the most fundamental
change in a child’s identity. It highlights the often powerful
emotions 12- to 14-year-olds experience as they try to find their
own space and distance themselves from their parents, guardians and
carers while establishing friendship groups and peer support.
The bulk of the book addresses the question of how much distance
and independence parents should give teenagers and how they should
handle these changes. It gives practical advice on how to deal with
situations and how to manage conflict around issues such as
smoking, bullying, eating disorders and sexuality, which will not
only help a parent but any professional who works with children and
The quotations from older people about their experiences as a 12-
to14-year-old are informative and interesting, evoking my own
personal memories of being that age!
The highlight of this book is Waddell’s clear, concise and
informative writing style, complimented by her excellent research.
I would highly recommend this book for the casual reader and those
seeking some in-depth information about the “terrible 12’s”.
Andrew Dalton is a project manager for Trinity Youth