13-14 years

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

Your teenager is going through a lot of changes! At this stage, they may finish middle school and start high school, begin first jobs, experience puberty, and get interested in romantic relationships. Your teen’s friends may become a more important part of their life, but you can remain important, too.

Learn more about your child’s development, explore available resources, and find free activities for teens below. 

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Development continues through the teen years and into adulthood! Learn about your teen's growth and what to look out for during this exciting time.

Around 13–14 years old, many teens:

  • Social

    • Are better at controlling emotions and behaviors
    • Begin to develop friendships with the opposite sex
    • Show more concern about body image, looks, and clothes
    • Care more about issues of right and wrong
  • Communication

    • Understand the difference between figurative and literal language
    • Understand how words can be used in different contexts
  • Learning

    • Read different kinds of books and write about their ideas
    • Use a bigger vocabulary to speak about complex ideas
    • Master basic math, including adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division
  • Physical Development

    • Are aware of sexuality
    • Use deodorant
    • Show signs of puberty
  • Health

    • Have 6 to 8 ounces of grains daily (such as 1 bagel plus 1 cup of rice)
    • Have 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables daily (1 large pepper plus 2 large celery stalks)
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily (1 banana plus ½ cup of dried fruit)
    • Have 5 to 6 ounces of meat and beans daily (1 can of tuna plus 2 eggs)
    • Have 3 cups of milk daily
    • Do 1 hour of physical activity each day
    • Sleep about 8–10 hours per day

As your teen transitions into adulthood, look out for signs they may be at risk or troubled, including if they:

  • Act Early

    • Extreme mood shifts, like being happy and excited one minute and sad and depressed the next
    • Sleeping more than 10 hours a day or change their sleep pattern
    • Spending too much time alone


Find the support your family needs to thrive

Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS NYC)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

Afterschool programs for students

COMPASS NYC has hundreds of programs for young people in kindergarten through 12th grade.


NYC Human Resources Administration

A free City ID card

IDNYC can often be used as an official ID for all New Yorkers age 10 and over.

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

Paid summer experiences for youth

SYEP provides youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer experiences for up to six weeks.

Virtual Events

See what your family can do for free in NYC

All Day

Win $2,000 for designing a Brooklyn library card celebrating Black culture

The Brooklyn Public Library is looking for the perfect design for a new library card celebrating Black…
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

College and Career Pathways: Virtual 1-on-1 College/Career Counseling Sessions

Register for a 30-minute one-on-one college and career counseling session with your teen librarian. Get…
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Virtual 1-on-1 College/Career Counseling Session

Do you want to go to college or start a new career? Are you having…