You're well into the sixth grade school year, and things are going well. Your child's staying out of trouble, seems to be navigating his new class schedule and doesn't need you to closely monitor his homework progress. Although you may be tempted to pat yourself on the back and put your parenting on cruise control, don't give in just yet.
Sixth graders operate with one foot in adulthood and one firmly entrenched in toddlerland -- and this is developmentally right on track. So, if your child approaches school (and life in general) with an eerily mature mentality and then seems to regress into tears overnight, take heart: He's just as confused as you are.
Not only is he experiencing a rush of hormones and a spate of new experiences, but these changes are converging on a rapidly growing brain. Not since he was an infant-turned-toddler has your child's brain bloomed with such voracity [source: Ghezzi].