10 Things Children Should Know at Age 12

There are things that children should know at age 12, which is when, more or less, adolescence begins. Read on to find out more.
10 Things Children Should Know at Age 12
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

There are certain things children should know at age 12. At this age, their understanding and maturity is greater and they understand what we tell them. Gone are the stages when we had to find the right words to explain things to them when they were younger.

Many psychological, physical and social changes take place from 12 to 18 years old, the stage of adolescence. That’s why it’s important to talk about certain topics that they should already know at this age.

What things should children know at age 12?

10 Things Children Should Know at Age 12


It’s important to teach them the value of friendship and what matters isn’t the quantity of friends you have, but the quality. Children, from the age of 12, already begin to have their own groups of friends with whom they will spend time. Therefore, it’s important that they choose those people well.

It’s not up to parents to tell them who to be friends with. However, we do have to be clear about what friendship means and know how to choose. We must explain to them that friends are those who make us feel good and who help us to be better.

Maintain a healthy life, have good food and exercise

Instilling good habits in them is fundamental, such as exercising, practicing a sport they like and, of course, eating a balanced and healthy diet.

For that, we have to set an example and explain why it’s so important for them to be active and lead a healthy life. If we educate them in good habits from childhood, we can prevent many diseases in the future.

Responsibility, one of the things children should learn at age 12

For them to be successful in the future, it’s important for adolescents to learn how to act responsibly and assume the consequences of their actions. They have to learn that we all have responsibilities to fulfill and that their efforts will help them achieve everything they set out to do.

Alcohol and drugs

In adolescence, alcohol and drugs can be a big problem. This is especially true given the strong influence that friends have at this time and because youth can start experimenting.

For this reason, it’s important that we explain the effects and serious consequences that drugs can have on people’s lives. We should never do this from a stance of prohibition, however, since this may incite them to experience forbidden things.

Failing and making mistakes

At age 12, talk to children about failure and that they don’t need to be afraid of it. Remind them that we all make mistakes and that doesn’t mean we fail. They have to see failure as a learning process so as not to make the same mistake again later on.

Technology, other things that children should know from the age of 12

Today, technology is part of our lives, but it has its downside, for example: addiction to video games, cell phones, and tablets. That’s why we must explain to them that they have their responsibilities. We can dedicate a short time to technology in our free time, but without it becoming an obsession.

Parents have to control time spent with new technologies and always offer children other healthier options. For example, playing board games together, going out for a walk, going for a picnic…

More things children need to know from age 12

10 Things Children Should Know at Age 12

Human sexuality

The subject of sex doesn’t have to be a forbidden topic in your family and you need to talk about it naturally. If your children have doubts, you must resolve them in a natural way. Demonstrate that, whenever they need information, they can turn to you rather than looking for it somewhere else (friends, the internet, etc).

Talk to your children about pregnancy, contraception, respect, and the importance of consent.

Social media

Social media has become a place where we can put photos and statuses about what we’re doing. However, many teenagers become obsessed with the amount of likes they get. That’s why it’s important to explain to them the dangers of social media.

Through social media, children can become exposed to bullying, grooming, and many other dangers. It’s very important that we tell them that they should’t talk to strangers and that their content should always be private.

In short, these are some of the things that children should know at age 12. It’s important and necessary to talk to them about all these topics so that they know how to face this stage successfully and without problems.

We should always talk about everything naturally. If we speak with judgment or reproach, we’ll only manage to push our adolescents away and they’ll stop telling us anything about their problems.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.