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Social and Emotional skills develop at a deeper level in Jr. High (Middle School) and High School. This is partially based upon the physical transformation to adult-hood, but also strongly impacted by the child’s ability to be successful in every-day activities to a similar level of their peers.

Remember that all kids develop social and emotional skills differently. If kids don’t meet every milestone for their age right away, that’s OK.

If your child isn’t hitting many of these milestones, keep track of what you’re seeing and share your concerns with your child’s health care provider. We work together with your child, family, and doctor to develop a plan to help your child build social and emotional skills.

Middle-schoolers and high-schoolers

Ages 11–15 years

  • Start thinking more logically
  • Are introspective and moody and need privacy
  • Value friends’ and others’ opinions more and more
  • May test out new ideas, clothing styles, and mannerisms while figuring out where/how to fit in

Ages 16–18 years

  • Strive to be independent and may start emotionally distancing from caregivers
  • Start trying to discover strengths and weaknesses, at times seeming self-centered, or moody
  • Show pride in successes
  • Spend a lot of time with friends and may be interested in dating