chapter  13
The Extraordinary 12-Year-Old
ByJulia E. Smith, Emily Michero
Pages 12

The age of twelve is a time of great change in a child across multiple domains of development. The brain of a twelve-year-old is changing at a rapid rate. Structural changes in both gray and white matter continue through this age. In a group of twelve-year-olds, one will notice a variety of body types and sizes, some looking like older children and others like fully mature adolescents. A twelve-year-old who has entered puberty develops increased muscular strength and coordination. The cognitive development of a this age child can be deceiving. At this age, children begin to develop increasing independence from parents and shift the focus of relationships from home to peers. Many twelve-year-olds enjoy expressive arts, such as painting, sandtray work, clay, music, or acting. A cognitive-based therapy, brief counseling is often used with this age in school settings where time is limited. Child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a form of filial therapy, was designed to enhance the child-parent relationship.