The Behavioral Stages of an 11 Year Old Girl

By W.D. Johnson
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An 11-year-old fits into the tween age bracket -- that transitional period between childhood and the teenage years. Along with the impending physical changes that the onset of puberty brings are behavioral changes, as well. Behaviors may be triggered by hormones, social circles, identity crises and ongoing desires for independence.

Rules

Beginning around this age, children of both genders could begin questioning and challenging the rules imposed on them by their families and institutions, such as school. They might suddenly begin to observe and internalize that authority figures are fallible, and not always right after all. Thus, kids at this age may have a sudden need to question everything from school curriculum to bedtime, demanding to know why protocol is as it is and for such standards to make sense and seem fair. The absence of that understanding may lead them to assert their sense of independence by defying or belittling standards imposed by adults.

Moodiness

As puberty causes the production of excess hormones -- combined with social, academic and other pressures weighing in on them -- ‘tween girls may be much moodier at this age than they’ve ever been before. Typical behavior can also include snapping at parents and others without much cause or warning.

Invincibility

During the pre-teen years, and on into teenage years, youth often begin exhibiting risk-taking behaviors -- experimenting with such things as drugs and alcohol -- because they don’t believe anything bad will ever happen to them.

Peer Relations

By age 11, many girls are seeking independence and prefer to spend as much time as possible with their peers, and less time with their families. Peer groups tend to become cliquish at this age as well, as children begin enjoying some sense of exclusiveness and secrecy. During this time, they begin facing heightened levels of peer pressure and begin testing parental limits.

Sexuality

By age 11, girls may be also displaying heightened interest in members of the opposite sex. You may notice your child spending more time primping, showing off and teasing. During this stage, girls may also begin experiencing clearer sexual feelings than previously.

Self-Consciousness

During this period, as girls’ bodies are going through rapid changes, 'tween girls typically believe all eyes are on them. Thus, they often dedicate much time to looking their very best at all times, keeping up with new trends and stressing over blemishes and any real or imagined imperfections. At this age, kids are very easily embarrassed.

Identity

In the quest for independence and to develop a stronger sense of themselves and their individual identities, pre-teen girls may begin experimenting more with their choices of peer groups, music, hobbies and fashion.

About the Author

W.D. Johnson is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and educational consultant. She specializes in writing development, test preparation and college admissions. Johnson graduated as a writing major from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 2008.