"Is that now puberty?", Parents may wonder if their kids with ten or eleven (and actually too early) are motzend and rebellious before them. It is - this also learned Urbia-author Gabriele Möller - the VOR puberty. Learn all about this phase.

Pre-puberty - the first call waiting hormones

Mother Daughter Discussion

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/ dndavis

"Mum! It's yet? "My eleven year old daughter turned unnerved her eyes and gives me a look that revealed deep doubts about my state of mind. And I've only asked to bring up new drinks from the cellar. But if I exhort, clean up the dirty laundry mountain of the height of Mount Everest in her room or do not do their homework until the witching hour - I often harvest now total denial ( "No, Mama I 'which is now just do not do that."). On the other hand, it has built near the water: When the refrigerator recently did not include the expected snack, this was reason enough for a few desperate sobs. In my helpless suit a girlfriend responds convinced: "This is the pre-puberty!" There it is again, that word, that's me have often encountered - although I can not remember to be yourself ever been such a phase. Is there a pre-puberty, anyway? If so, what triggers them? Runs them in girls and boys alike? And what are the not-yet-teens on the prepubertal icy grip?

First, the message confirming the latent suspicion of many parents: the prepubescent there really. "These days begin in healthy, well-nourished human body usually starting at the age of eight or nine years of puberty underlying hormonal changes", explains the lexicon on. but this does not automatically mean that one already sees it externally, "The onset of puberty takes place in the brain around the age of eight years without the children start by saying something like," the educationalist Dr. Werner Stangl. He therefore holds little further: "The pre-puberty is the phase after the latency period, ie the time between the 6th and 10th year, follows." It is clear: Tender like a fog is the definition of this phase. This ambiguity goes well with the lifestyle of this age: They often even do not really know whether they are still child or teen a bit.

The pre-puberty in girls

"For months, they begin to develop body odor - even though she takes a shower adequate. And her long hair ever since totally quickly greasy at the roots, "says the mother of an eight year old in an online forum and ask if this can already be pre-puberty. You can, because scientists found that start in girls before puberty, the ovaries slowly increased to produce estrogens. In addition, gonadotropins already be formed in the brain. later, the sex hormone surge triggers the start of the development of breast, uterus, vagina, female body shapes and the onset of menstrual cycles. Also before puberty small amounts of androgens are produced in the adrenal glands, which stimulate the growth in length and at some point the onset of pubic hair development. But hormones also act on the brain where they trigger the transition from child to young people from. Girls now often seem irritable and impatient, have mood swings. They imitate in behavior and clothes already teenagers, often make-up already and study - caught between fascination and alienation - the BRAVO and their latest news about Petting.

The pre-puberty in boys

"My eight-year-old son is to evening in a bad mood since about two weeks from morning. No matter what you say, he's always Maulen, is defiant, and nagging. His favorite phrase currently:, I do not care ', "says another forum mother, adding:" It all started with the fact that he began herumzumaulen to the clothes that I had to get out put, and gels his hair. " In the body of her son probably just the androgen male hormones that herald puberty imperceptibly begin to take action - and mentally. Moreover, even the production of testosterone increases in boys before puberty significantly in the testicles. This male sex hormone characterizes the so-called secondary sexual characteristics later, resulting in muscle and body growth and the beginning of the new body hair. Also gonadotropin controls the growth of pubic and underarm hair, and later - in the right puberty - even the expression of beard and chest hair.

Prepubertal boys are often still very playful, like romping noisily around, but also begin to enter the room and bathroom door. They are geared increasingly to peers and less to the parents, with whom they often look for conflicts. In the group to have a good reputation, is extremely important for this guys do a great deal. There are among loyalty, discretion, courage. And often there are, as with teens, has a group of Conduct and own greeting rituals. Young now try strong spells and approach - mostly coarse, clumsy and in the form of squabbles - tentatively the girl.

The taste of freedom already on the tongue

So is true for both sexes: Although the physical signs are not yet visible, you can see the beginning of the pre-puberty at changing behavior. On the one hand, most children want to get a little perfect world now, goutieren still their toys. On the other hand, they vigorously previous rules in question and rehearse the resistance against the parents. This rather still refers to everyday but currently content ( "I want alone with friends to the movies!"), Not ideals. Your value system is right - unlike puberty - with that of the parents usually still the same: smoking and drugs are stupid, which reject the parents, they also reject.

Children prepubescent So stand with one foot still in childhood and have the others have been almost to the bottom of teens ages. As if they were about to cross a ditch. Waldorf Education does not designate this transition wrongly as the "Rubicon", inspired by the passing of this legendary river by Julius Cäsar. Graduate educator Thomas Drößler stressed that the children are now in a kind of "socio-cultural vacuum": "The kids are no longer viewed not as a teenager, but as children."

Easy it have the no-longer-children and not-yet-teens in this vacuum is not: "The age of the pre-puberty is characterized by a phase of mental destabilization," stresses Drößler. It confront "the young people with developmental facts available to them to address them is not the appropriate ways and means." However, they felt torn between the familiar and the new, still blurring and frightening, at the same time sexy. For their environmental behavior appearing "weak, vacillating between hard to volume Direction hyperactivity and seemingly passive dreaminess," said the expert of the Protestant School of Social Work in Dresden.

viewed from a safe distance - the opposite sex

This being torn is also in relation to the opposite sex: There are already first interest, but rather from a distance. You sit in class most like in addition to representatives of the same sex, impromptu statements (choir) provide girls and boys usually neatly separated. On the other hand, already discussed from a safe distance secretly which boy is particularly "sweet" that girl "bitchy" or "cool". It belongs to view in class, possibly even to have a suitor or an admirer, even though there is no real sexual attraction, "My Great (9) the other day told me very sad that she was the only girl in class , in which no one is in love! Torschlusspanik nine! I myself did 13 years ago, a horse get married, "a mother posting half-frightened, half amused." And so already eleven year old girls screaming from concerts of Justin Bieber vocal cords sore, on the other hand to throw there, teddy bears onto the stage - perhaps typical symbol of childhood world.

What kids now are really good

but the pre-puberty is not only a time of uncertainty. Children at this age also develop special strengths. So neuroscientists have found that now the formal thinking is pronounced. Now, children develop the ability to recognize complex or abstract relationships and manage change. Therefore, the teaching of subjects is possible that require it, such as grammar, ancient languages, set theory and algebra. The vocabulary grows suddenly, the ability to make complicated sentence structures increases. And who previously had a rather chaotic child can, hope: Now also developed the ability to organize and plan to pursue these plans focused and learn from mistakes. "It takes place a process critical thinking about themselves and the ability of the design of future plans"Says the educationalist Prof. Rudolf Heidemann.

Media entice the teen-age

That earlier generations of parents before puberty tend to have overslept, for several reasons. For one to become active hormones began simply later. Secondly, the terms were different: boys were in the "Flegel years," girls were already educated brave the roles here and perceived. Above all, the media did not have a fraction of today's influence. A survey of the friends of my daughter showed: The actress Miley Cyrus, who plays as "Hannah Montana" a student with a double life as a rock singer, now the daydreams of the girls inspires already as well as "Germany seeks the superstar" or "Germany's Next Top Model ". A real treat for developmental psychologists are the characters Edward and Bella from the popular already with ten year old literary adaptation "Twilight". The first, tentative interest of prepubescent children in the opposite sex and their simultaneous lack of interest in sexuality accumulate here almost: For while Edward is a vampire, and therefore not without risk (which is the beginning of the idea of ​​sexuality), but he is at the same time chaste and his Bella heroically protects against all evil, so that you can feel safe with him (like a sheltered child). And for guys applies: Whether GZSZ, Simpsons, Zack & Cody, last Saturday, iCarly, the Wild Things or the Harry Potter of the later films: Many film heroes are older than themselves and attract - partly on kitschy and thus particularly attractive way - even in the world of teens.

What pre-pubescent need

It can not be denied: The Childhood has become shorter. And also, when you have so early not expecting: "As parents we must now get used to that behavior from outside are brought into the family. One can only trust that your own example and his own influences to reasonably withstand "the pediatrician and development expert Dr. Rüdiger Posth. Parents can stop this development did not, but they can still keep a piece of childhood to the child. You can make sure that the time the child spends in front of the screen media, remains manageable. Not every pseudo-teenager-like behavior must be supported: A nine year old girl does not go to school wearing makeup, a ten-year-old boy to have not tried his first beer.

Is a behavior of the offspring too far, it's important to stay with the child in conversation. "Now there are children at an age where you can talk openly with them, preferably in a relaxed minute. You can explain to them how you see yourself and the things like you want them, that the child behaves at home, "Posth advises in its online forum. This debate should not be afraid, because "such discussions strengthen both the parent-child bond." And which is now particularly important because psychologically are Vorpubertierende tender plants. You need - even if it often does not work so - a lot of attention. The remedial teacher Henning Köhler says this: "Only the fact that another man who loves me and appreciates me sees my true nature, seen me, considering I can feel in my innermost humanity."

Hobbies provide stability during the transition phase

Now also hobbies are especially important. Because almost always suitable for children like teens alike, thus giving continuity in the transition phase. to something that makes jointly create (team sports, orchestra, choir, etc.) and sometimes to overcome hurdles strong. Especially sports also helps to vent pent-up emotions or difficult to feel their own strength and to feel at the same time integrated into a group. such activities are also important to the illusory world of the TV series to counter real and personal experience. Which also form a counterweight to the often pronounced daydreaming. Many exciting children's books deal with this phase of development and provide identification. The heroes of Erich Kästners "The Flying Classroom", the first "Harry Potter" -Bände or the "Crocodiles" (Max v. D. Green) are Vorpubertierende. The groups often have their own code of honor or a secret language, enthusiasm, loyalty, confidentiality, reliability, comradeship, courage and commitment are needed.