Stages of Life Development: High School

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High School "Teens know that they are uniquely created by God and are loved by Him." JAYME NICHOLS In the years between the beginning of middle school and the end of high school, a teenager transitions from her childhood body and mindset to a more matured body and mindset. Hormonal surges characterize the typical teen and fuel physical, emotional, and mental changes. High schoolers are anywhere from fourteen to eighteen years old, encompassing a wide range of developmental levels and abilities. However, every one of them is quickly moving toward adulthood and learning how to manage their new bodies, mindsets, and emotions. The lives of high schoolers expand greatly throughout these years. High schoolers are asking questions, solidifying their own moral codes, and defining their place in the world during this time. They are widening their social circles; they may become involved in many different groups and clubs. They are even beginning to expand and understand their roles within these social circles. Romantic relationships also become important. As high schoolers tackle these changes in their lives, it's important that they have positive adult relationships that can influence and guide their development as they prepare to become independent adults themselves. Fourteen-year-old Sarah knows how to answer church questions pretty efficiently with the "correct" answer. She knows who God is and that Jesus saved her by dying on the cross, but behind the scenes, she is not sure why she believes that or what impact it has on her everyday life. In safe environments, she will begin to ask questions or challenge those beliefs. This isn't defiance; it's a developmentally appropriate way for her to start to understand her faith in a broader perspective. As she begins to grasp why she believes what she has been taught, her desire to live out her faith grows and seeks a place to be put into action. Her gifts start to emerge, and she begins to understand how God has made her unique and how God uses her to love specific people. She can empathize with her neighbors near and far, serve them, teach them, and share Jesus' love with them. A Day in the Life High School • 1 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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