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Pre Adolescence: Developing Understanding. Presented By Caesar Mwangi on Behalf of Family Network International To Std 5 Parents at Strathmore School on 19 May 2011. Today is the first day of the rest of your life…. Pre Adolescence: Developing Understanding. Setting the scene

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pre adolescence developing understanding

Pre Adolescence: Developing Understanding

Presented By Caesar Mwangi

on Behalf of Family Network International

To Std 5 Parents at

Strathmore School on 19 May 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of your life…..

pre adolescence developing understanding1
Pre Adolescence: Developing Understanding
  • Setting the scene
  • Pre adolescents defined
  • Characteristics
  • 4. Peer pressure
  • 5. Family relations
  • 6. Implications for parents
  • 7. Major influencers
  • 8. Suggestions (Fathers, Mothers, screens)
  • 9. Issues for focus.
setting the scene 1
Setting the scene……[1]

There is a trend in the world today where parents spend a great deal of time building the world for their children, instead of building their children for the world.

Quote from a Friend, 6 Nov 2010.

setting the scene 2
Setting the scene…….[2]

“We must revive faith in the family with all its infinite possibilities for joy, laughter, love concern, compassion, courage and faith”.

Robert H. Schuller

setting the scene 3
Setting the scene…….[3]

The Only Rock that I know that stays steady, the only institution that works is the family….I think a civilized world can’t remain civilized for long if its foundation is built on anything but family”

Lee Iacoca, Talking straight, 1988

setting the scene 4
Setting the scene……[4]

To be parents in the 21st Century is not easy. That is why parents need to make a proactive choice to learn.

Father Albert Pampillon

setting the scene 5 james stenson
Setting the scene…[5](James Stenson)

Job of parents is not…..

Merely to feed, clothe and shelter their children;

To provide a technical education;

To keep the children busily amused and out of trouble;

To prepare them for success in highly paid careers;

setting the scene 5
Setting the scene…[5]

Despite all these being provided…

later on in adolescence and in young adult life they at times end up in serious personal problems such as addiction, moral collapse, broken marriages and an empty unhappy existence.

setting the scene 6
Setting the scene..[6]

The real job of parents is…..

to protect their children from harm, not only now but in the years ahead – in their personal lives, their marriages, their careers and in their souls.

i.e.. To strengthen the children when they are small so that they can later protect themselves and their loved ones.

pre adolescence defined
Pre Adolescence….Defined

Defined as the stage in which boys and girls stop being children to convert themselves biologically into adults and psychologically into adolescents.

It is a time of change

pre adolescence
Pre Adolescence

Begins around the age of ten when the child moves from being a child to an adolescent.

pre adolescence first signs
Pre adolescence -First signs

A gangly body (spurt of growth)

Large feet; and

An ability to clear out a fridge full of food in a day.

basic characteristics
Basic Characteristics

Individual yet part of the crowd;






Self conscious;

Strives to be popular


Easily influenced (brains are dopamine and melatonin rich);

Prone to outbursts of rage;

Self conscious and is coming to grips with his identity;

One of the most complicated phases of their development.

characteristics physical
Characteristics - Physical

They discover their own bodies;

Growth of penis, muscles and bones due to increased levels of testosterone;

Sweat and oil glands become more active;

Muscles that stretch across the voice box loosen and voice breaks;

May start wet dreams;

characteristics physical1
Characteristics - Physical

They feel voracious hunger;

Alternate moments of great vitality and moments of great exhaustion;

Rapid increase in height;

Nutrition, exercise and sleep are important;


At times they might like to be alone and spend time in the bathroom;

Frequent mood changes due to sensations that cause uneasiness;

At this stage they interiorize values and live many of them e.g.. Respect for the things of others, generosity, courage, responsibility.

characteristics peer pressure
Characteristics – Peer pressure

Most demanding value for them is peer friendship;

Belongs to a group of friends with a natural leader habitually giving the orders;

They feel as a group that they can challenge the norms of adults;

Clear rejection of girls occurs as their interests are different.

characteristics family relations
Characteristics – Family relations

At this stage they really need the father;

They also continue needing motherly care and affection but the father’s actions dominate as he represents straight forward rationality to help them navigate their uncontrollable and unstable emotions.

They need reasonable but firm authority.

characteristics family relations1
Characteristics – Family relations

They tend to have deep respect for grand- parents as having the weight of experience of life and continuity.

implications for parents
Implications for parents

Parents need to exercise well thought out, reasonable but firm authority;

Communication and mutual agreement between spouses is very necessary;

Need to avoid rigorous authoritarianism or lack of authority;

Fathers might feel a loss of fatherly prestige and this should not lead to less affection

implications for parents1
Implications for parents

Ideally fathers should discuss changes happening to the body and explain this is part of transition to manhood.

The onset of erections, wet dreams need to be talked about

implications for parents2
Implications for parents

Parents should ensure at all costs that they give a big dose of understanding and patience so that the pre adolescent can learn how to find path to maturity.

major influencers that need to be managed
Major Influencers that need to be managed…..

Peer Group and dominant values;


Family life atmosphere;

Father and Mother relationship;

School life atmosphere and norms;

(boys broke door to the basement and started drumming and broke drum)

suggestions 1

Mothers (Don and Jeanne Elium – Raising a son)

Ideal people to teach their sons about women and what qualities women look for in a man

- Kindness

- Sense of humour

- Loving attitude

- Mother should also encourage closer ties between sons and their fathers

suggestions 2
  • Fathers:
  • Have a critical role in their son’s lives
  • Boys imitate their fathers – need to be a good role model
  • ESSENTIAL TO HAVE LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH MOTHER….This will make the boy want the same when he grows up.
suggestions 3
  • 1. Be firm and set rules and limits
  • 2. Avoid hitting or frightening him
  • 3. Set out to understand why he behaves the way he does so as to help him.
suggestions on screens 4
Suggestions on screens….[4]

Limit screen time;

Monitor all internet use. They should not use it unsupervised;

Monitor what kids are watching on TV

Watch TV with your kids;

Talk to them about TV and internet

Instead encourage healthy pursuits like board games, cards, stories, sports, music, cycling


To help us on our journey

  • There are a few things that matter
a few things that really matter 1
A few things that really matter….[1]
  • 1) Have a clear vision for your life and treasure and understand your vocation as a parent;
  • 2) Continuously learn and strive to improve (read, seminars, daily reflection on your actions/omissions)
a few things that really matter 3
A few things that really matter….[3]
  • 3) Clarify your non negotiable values to live by
  • (honesty, fidelity, generosity, discipline, courage, patience)
  • 4) Live an active faith in everyday life and in the process, the children will see God in ordinary things (Piety).
but remember
But remember…….
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

Finally .…………….

If it is to be, it is up to me!

family network international

In addition to seminars, we offer two basic courses for parents:-



We also offer counseling services

Contact details:-

P.O. BOX 67978 – 00200

Tel. 020- 4449447.4451694

Fax: 4451695

Mobile: 0722-749 002/ 0723-459639

group 1 internet and tv

In today’s world, anything can be found through the touch of a button on the computer/mobile phone, thus increasing the dangers our pre-adolescents are exposed to.

Many pre-adolescents are exposed to social media such as Facebook and Twitter. What measures can a parent take to ensure that what their young pre- adolescent is viewing or posting over the internet is age appropriate material?

Most of the programmes aired on our local stations at night are usually age restricted, to be viewed by persons over 18. What should you discuss with your son before allowing him to watch these programmes and what are some of the consequences of allowing him to watch these programmes?

group 2 communiction

Educating our children in matters of human sexuality is challenging to parents.

This is a phase full of activity in a child’s life, yet they are often unable to plan their own work and need schedules. What can parents do at home to engage their son’s free time positively? During the Term and especially during the holidays.

Parents at times tell ‘white lies’ to their children when they don’t want to discuss topics they consider ‘embarrassing’ such as those related to sex when asked by their children. Which is the best way of handling such questions, which you may not be too comfortable discussing with your child?

group 3 peer pressure

During the next few years your son is going to encounter a lot of peer pressure

What are some of the negative peer influences you fear your son may be exposed to?

What are some of the sources of peer pressure?

How can we as parents reduce negative peer influence and encourage our son to make the right choices?

group 4 education in love

Some experiences in parenthood require us to turn the lemons to lemonade

If you found your Std. 5 son reading a magazine or watching a DVD with obscene pictures, what action(s) would you take?

How would you turn such an event into an opportunity to educate him positively?