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Your child is changing so fast—in body, mind, and emotions—that you hardly know her anymore. One day she’s as responsible and cooperative as an adult; the next day she’s more like a six-year-old. Figuring out the new rules for you behavior as a parent can be intimidating. When is it acceptable to “like” their posts and can you comment? Is it OK to show up at their school? These children are in process; they’re becoming more self-sufficient. It’s Independence Day!

What I’m Like: I’m more independent than I used to be, but I’m quite self-conscious. I think more like an adult, but there’s no simple answer. I like to talk about issues in the adult world. I like to think for myself, and though I often feel confused, my opinions are important to me, and I want others to respect them. I seem to be moving away from my family. Friends are more important than ever. This is the age of group halloween costumes. To have friends like me, I sometimes act in ways that adults disapprove of. But I still need reasonable rules set by adults.

What I Need: I need to know my family is behind me no matter how I may stumble in my attempts to grow up. This growing up is serious business, and I need to laugh and play a lot to lighten up and keep my balance. I need you to understand that I’m doing my best and to encourage me to see my mistakes as learning experiences. Please don’t tease me about my clothes, hair, boy/girl friends. Look for ways to encourage my process because I am “in process.”