Why tweens won't talk to their parents

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Why tweens won't talk to their parents

Parents who are really close to their children and used to hear everything that was going on at school, all of a sudden, are in the dark once their child becomes an early adolescent. From around the age of 11-13, children who used to disclose all the time, stop, even if bullying or really bad things are going on at school. That's because their bodies have changed. They are uncomfortable all the time. Their minds, their brains have taken a big leap into formal operational thought. They feel as if they are on stage all the time, thinking about what you were thinking, about what they were thinking when you saw them yesterday. All of the situations they are in are unpredictable. They are new. Their bodies, that they used to depend on, react in a new way, especially for young men. Hang on parents. Your children will return and they'll start talking to you again. It'll take a couple of years, but as they become more comfortable, they'll be able to tell you what they feel because they'll know what they feel again, what they are thinking. They'll be more predictable on an everyday basis.

Watch Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD's video on Why tweens won't talk to their parents...


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Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD


Dr. Rotheram-Borus has spent the past 20 years developing, evaluating, and disseminating evidence-based interventions for children and families. She has worked extensively with adolescents, especially those at risk for substance abuse, HIV, homelessness, depression, suicide, and long-term unemployment. Dr. Rotheram-Borus has directed and implemented several landmark intervention studies that have demonstrated the benefits of providing behavior change programs and support to families in risky situations. Several of these programs have received national and international recognition, including designation as model programs by the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, Dr. Rotheram-Borus has ongoing projects in Uganda, China, and South Africa, as well as the United States. Dr. Rotheram-Borus has authored or co-authored more than 200 journal articles, including publications in Science, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the American Journal of Public Health. She has received more than 40 grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to design prevention programs for children and families at high risk for HIV, mental health problems, suicide, and substance abuse. In 2001, Science identified her as number two of the top-funded NIH multi-grant recipients; she was the only woman in the top ten.

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