(PIX11) -- Being 13 is hard and it seems to be getting harder. We're exploring the risky behavior teens and pre-teens are engaging in.
Blogger Ally Del Monte -- who started her website losergurl.com two years ago at age 13 after she tried to kill herself, overwhelmed by years of relentless bullying -- shares insights into the life of a teen in 2015.
Dr. Jodi Gold, a clinical assistant professor at Cornell University and director of the school's ADHD Clinic, shared these revelations about what it means to be a tween, its challenges and what parents can do to ease the transition:
What are some of the changes kids go through at 13?
- Puberty and more focus on sexuality & appearance
- Moody and show less affection to parents
- Increased self-consciousness that makes your tween more sensitive to rejection
- Increased need for peer acceptance leads to increased vulnerability to bullying, peer pressure
- March forward to independence with lots of bumps and temporary pit stops
- More complex thoughts
- Express self better
What kind of risky and reckless behavior are young teens experimenting with?
- Some reckless behavior hasn’t changed for decades
- Begin to experiment with alcohol and drugs
- Internet offers perfect space for reckless and impulsive behavior
- 20 percent have sent a sext -- or a sexual text message; 30 percent of 17-year-olds have received sext
- At this age it is mostly suggestive Snapchats and cyber-exclusion
What are some tips for parents raising a 13-year-old
- Understand your family values about friendship, sex and technology
- Help with time management online and offline
- Protected study and sleep
- Coaching on how to use good judgement socially online and offline
- Clear rules and boundaries online and offline
- Parents who are good online and off line role models
- Help find other role models in their community as well as online