Pre-teen is ‘officially’ the most difficult age for kids

pre teen
Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

The terrible teens have been usurped by an even younger crowd, says a new study.

You may have previously believed that there existed a brief period of tranquillity between your children’s toddler tantrums and teenage angst. Unfortunately, you were wrong. The pre-teen age of 10 is now officially the most difficult age for modern children, according to a new study of parents.

A nationwide survey into the highs and lows of modern parenting has revealed as much as 86% of parents believe children are turning into stroppy “teenagers” earlier than when they were young.

Two-thirds of the parents polled said kids are becoming moodier earlier these days due to celebrity culture and social media encouraging them to grow up faster. But it’s not all doom and gloom, I promise. According to parents with older children, by the age of 16 both boys and girls have gotten over their tricky teenager stage. Hoorah! And besides, if we were honest, many us were probably difficult teenagers ourselves.

 The top 10 signs of pre-teen behaviour are:

1. Throwing toddler style tantrums
2. Spending too long on tablets/phones
3. Being overly emotional for no reason
4. Refusing to go to bed at bedtime
5. Leaving their room in a state
6. Being messy
7. Being a fussy eater
8. Not wanting to be seen with parents/grandparents
9. Not wanting any affection
10. Refusing to brush their teeth

So how do you combat this I hear you scream? Well, we must first understand that this is a transitional and educational period of our children’s lives. Always remember what it was like growing up, nothing was easy, and it certainly isn’t getting any easier for our children.

Children are simply trying to act grown up and seek some independence. Rules, limits and boundaries can assist with helping your child learn to manage such independence and take responsibility for their own behaviour and solve problems. Your child will need such skills to become a young adult with their own set of standards for appropriate behaviour and respect towards others.

Encouraging good behaviour is about using open communication as well as keeping a loving family environment filled with respect and understanding. Naturally this may be difficult when you have a 10-year-old refusing to get off their phone at meal times. But remember: such behaviour won’t last forever and is perfectly natural. Just be prepared. And perhaps hide their phone chargers?