Ages 9-11

Pre-Teens

Ages 9-11

Distinctives treating pre-teens

In their late childhood, thanks to increased interconnectedness in their brains, children are becoming more adept at navigating their emotions, but often gravitate toward extremes. Social rules and a sense of right, wrong, and fairness are beginning to become clear and children start to apply meaning to their experiences. Development progresses physically, with many children hitting puberty at this stage, and mentally, as they start to think more about sexuality, racial identity, and social hierarchy. And while they show signs of maturity it’s not uncommon for children at this age to oscillate between immature and mature behaviors.

Reasons for seeking treatment

  • Heightened sensitivity to failure
  • Increased self-criticism
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Social problems such as exclusion, rumors and trouble fitting in
  • Bullying and teasing
  • Oppositional behaviors
  • Overly withdrawn or isolates from peers
  • Anxiety that is interfering with school or social life
  • School refusal
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Separation anxiety
  • Acting-out in class
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Early-onset puberty and a growing awareness of sexuality

Demands on parenting Pre-Teens

During this age, parents are doing their best to navigate what seems like their child’s rollercoaster of emotions. These emotions can lend themselves to conflict with parents. As the child grows in independence parents find themselves directly challenged more often. This may be a season where for the first-time parents must address questions that seem of great importance to child and adult alike. Parents of children at this stage need to provide a stable environment for their kids who are navigating many changes both mentally and physically.

How we work with pre-teens and their parents

Pre-teens are experiencing rapid changes in both their bodies and relationships–often straining their interactions with parents. We work to strengthen the bond between child and parent in anticipation of the increased strain of adolescence. Working with parents, we aim to establish and provide practical strategies for developmentally appropriate discipline, improved communication and skills training. We help parents discover proactive solutions to identify and prevent crises their children may face before they start.

Therapists for this Age Group

Monique Johnson, MA, LPC, CATP

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Tyler Martawibawa, Clinical Intern

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Carissa Van Schooten, MA, ALMFT, TBHP

Couples and Family Therapist

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Brendan C. Bell, MA, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

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