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You may have noticed that your seventh grader is starting to care a lot about what everyone else is doing. They also care about what you’re doing, but mostly because it’s embarrassing them. Don’t let those eye rolls get you down, though – you’re figuring out what it looks like to parent an adolescent, and the social dynamics of the relationship you have with your seventh grader are changing. Just remember not to take it personally.

They care about what their friends are doing because they want to be with them. Your seventh graders often find themselves in the middle of a crowd — and it’s right where they want to be. Whether they’re on the way to the bathroom, going shopping with friends, or building their platform on social media, their favorite place to be is wherever everyone else is.

Most seventh graders are fixated on their present circumstances, too. They’ll forget things you said a few hours ago and while they care about their future, what they feel and think right now is often their highest motivator. Whenever you can, rather than trying to change their perspective, use it to your advantage and appeal to their present reality.

Your seventh grader is changing...


  • They still need 9-11 hours of sleep every night but may get tired easily and develop headaches.
  • Hormones continue to cause changes in height, body shape, body odor, and muscle mass for both guys and girls.


  • They can solve complex problems and enjoy seeing two sides of an argument and forming and sharing their opinion.
  • Their brain is growing, but they may be forgetful and have a hard time with organization and time management.


  • They may feel restless, overschedule their time, and require a lot of physical activity.
  • Talking about what they’re feeling and why is beneficial.
  • Their sense of humor is silly and sometimes crude.


  • Characteristically silly and loud, they might sound like they’re speaking a different language with their new vocabulary full of slang and knowledge of everything pop culture.
  • Friends may change as they develop new interests. The opinions of their peers start to matter even more, and you may find that they start paying more attention to their appearance, exhibit less confidence, and they might hurt your feelings with their newfound mean streak. Now more than ever, they need additional adult influences.