As a kids' author with two darling granddaughters, Sheila has learned some neat life lessons she wants to share with her readers!
Are You Mature?
Okay, you're not quite a teenager yet, but you are in middle school, growing faster than your shoes. You're learning all sorts of interesting tidbits that are probably making your mind spin in every direction, right? A good number of your friends may be acting immature, but you surely don’t want to act childish like they do. Because you're moving on to bigger and better things!
How a 12-Year-Old Can Be Mature—or Act Like It!
1. Know That There's a Time to Act Silly
Even really old people act like kids sometimes. Of course, you don't want to act too silly and not adhere to your responsibilities (this is when your parents would scold you for ridiculous behavior!) So what do you do? Do you join your peers in silly fun because you think they are funny, or do you separate yourself from silliness? Of course not!
You can have the best of both worlds! You can act mature and serious most of the time and relaxed and funny when you feel like it, as long as you can discern right from wrong. Acting silly doesn't mean you’re immature or naïve because it's okay to act silly sometimes, as long as you are in control of your emotions and are doing what you need to do!
2. Know That There's a Time to Be Studious and Get Good Grades
Learning is the most important thing in middle school! You should not only try to get good grades but also to understand and actually do the work that's required, such as homework, chores, and being polite.
By taking school seriously and getting acceptable grades, your friends will automatically think you're more mature. Your teachers also will take a liking to you when you understand and ace your lessons with flying colors.
3. Evaluate Your Friends (and Let Go of the Bad Ones)
If you have school friends who scorn you or make fun of you and accuse you of being innocent, it’s because they're not a good influence. They're probably trying to get you to do something bad. These kids are your acquaintances, not friends, and they are not good people to hang around with since they will pressure you to do things you're not comfortable doing. Maturity is achieved when you choose your friends wisely.
4. Listen to Older People
Mature kids listen to and emulate their elders, teachers, and parents. They also act mature by taking responsibility for certain things, like doing chores, homework, and setting a good example for younger family members, classmates, and friends.
5. Don't Get Carried Away
When we're kids, we easily get carried away in the moment. As we mature, we learn not to lose ourselves quite so easily. To avoid getting carried away, learn to practice self-control. This involves thinking before you act, at all times, so you don’t inadvertently take things too far, hurt someone’s feelings, or get into trouble.
6. Set Goals for Yourself
As we mature, we learn how to play the long game. In other words, we learn how to work towards our goals methodically and consistently. Instead of always expecting immediate gratification, learn how to set large goals and break them into smaller steps to work on.
7. Respect Other People's Opinions
Mature people don't insult, shame, degrade, or demean others just for thinking differently. A mature person listens to others, even if they disagree. This doesn't mean you have to agree with everyone, just that you don't have to vilify, insult, or tease those who disagree with you. Learning how to respectfully disagree and still maintain a respectful conversation where everyone is heard is the goal of the mature person.
8. Take Ownership
Instead of always pointing fingers at others, learn how to take responsibility for your own contributions. Instead of shirking blame and avoiding responsibility when things go wrong, a mature person takes ownership. By taking a leading role in your life and your decisions, you begin to act like a mature individual.
9. Develop Interests
As we age, we start to find out what truly makes us happy. Whether it's hobbies, sports, intellectual activities, or something else, it's time for you to figure out what makes life with living. If there are certain activities that you love to do (riding bikes, reading books, playing piano, etc.) start making the time to do them. A mature person is one who has spent a lot of time and care pursuing those things that make them feel most alive.
10. Help Others
The more mature we are, the more we have to share. If you can, find a way to give back to your community by helping others. This can mean volunteering for an organization, making time for someone who needs help, or just listening to someone who needs a sympathetic ear.
Mature Kid Poll
© 2012 Sheila Craan