What to Expect: Age 15

Your child is just one short year away from receiving the ultimate symbol of freedom – their driver’s license. Freedom is bound to be a major concern for most teenagers this year, but parents sometimes wonder what they should truly expect. After all, most teenagers become more secretive by this age.

If you’re wondering what’s really going on with your child, you can use some of these developmental milestones to give you a better idea. Parents can always benefit from comparing their child to these expert guidelines. However, you may want to keep in mind that every child will develop at a slightly different rate.

Social and Emotional Growth

Fifteen is a very difficult age socially and emotionally for most teenagers. Friendships have the tendency to become all-consuming, which explains why peer pressure tends to be a huge issue. Your fifteen-year-old may be exploring a lot of difficult topics related to sex, drugs, and drinking with their friends. Give them some space to work these issues out on their own, but make yourself available if they would like to talk.

Self-esteem can also be a major problem for teens this year. They may become very interested in their appearance and have a difficult time establishing who they are as individuals. While some of this struggle is perfectly normal, parents should take care to ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand.

You can help bolster your child’s self-esteem by encouraging them, spending quality time with them, and offering up regular compliments. All of these minor daily interactions can add up to make your teen feel more confident and self-assured.

Cognitive Growth

As the years pass by, your child is likely to experience some significant shifts in their thought patterns. This is the age where most children begin to consider what the future could really be like. A fifteen-year-old isn’t likely to make extremely concrete plans to achieve their goals, but they do start to consider what the future will look like.

Physical Growth

Your child may still be growing at this age, but they’re already likely to be mistaken for much older than they really are. They are almost finished developing into their adult height and size, but all children will develop at slightly different rates. Don’t be too concerned if your child is a little behind size-wise compared to their peers.

Many parents also become concerned that their fifteen-year-olds are sleeping too much. Your teen may seem extremely nocturnal, staying up late at night and sleeping through the afternoon. Sleep is an important factor in your child’s development, so don’t hesitate to let sleeping children lie in bed late on the weekends.

Fifteen is an exciting age for teenagers and their parents, as their independent nature truly begins to blossom. While family may not be a priority for your child at this stage, parents should ensure that they make time to spend with their older teens. Your influence and guiding presence are extremely beneficial to bolster your child’s self-esteem and help them to prepare for the future. Enjoy these last few years before your child reaches full adulthood.


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