You’ve experienced 2 a.m. feedings, toddler tantrums, and the back-to-school jitters. So, why are you so concerned about the phrase “teenager“?
It’s natural that the adolescent years are a time of turmoil and upheaval for many families, as it is a period of rapid growth, not only physically but also emotionally and cognitively.
Despite what people believe about teenagers, they are most of the time lively, intellectual, and idealistic, with a strong desire to do right and fair. Although the adolescent years may be a time of tension between parents and children, they are also a time to assist children in developing into the unique persons they will become.
The Teenage Years: An Overview
So, when exactly does adolescence begin?
We have early bloomers, late bloomers, quick developers, and slow-but-steady growth. Put another way; there is a broad range of what is deemed normal.
Puberty is most commonly associated with the development of adult sexual features such as breasts, menstrual cycles, pubic hair, and facial hair. These are the most obvious indicators of puberty and coming maturity. However, it’s critical to draw a (rather artificial) line between puberty and adolescence. Still, youngsters who are going through physical changes (usually between the ages of 8 and 14) are also going through many other changes that aren’t evident from the outside. These are the changes that occur during adolescence.
Many children signal the start of puberty by drastically altering their conduct with their parents.
They’re starting to grow apart from their parents and become more self-sufficient. Simultaneously, children at this age are becoming increasingly conscious of how others, particularly their peers, see them and are urgently attempting to fit in. When it comes to making decisions, their friends frequently take precedence over their parents.
Kids frequently begin “putting on” different appearances and identities, and they become acutely aware of how they vary from their classmates, resulting in unhappiness and conflict with their parents.
One of the most prevalent adolescent clichés is the rebellious, wild adolescent who is always at war with his or her parents.
Although this may be true for certain children throughout this period of emotional ups and downs, that stereotype does not apply to most teenagers.
However, the fundamental objective of adolescence is independence. To do so, teenagers must begin to distance themselves from their parents, particularly those with whom they have the closest relationship. This might make it appear that teenagers are always in conflict with their parents or don’t want to be around them as much as they used to.
Teenagers will begin to think more abstractly and rationally as they develop; they’re developing a moral code.
Teenagers’ parents may notice that their children, who had previously conformed to please them, are now asserting themselves and rebelling against parental authority.
You might want to consider how much space you offer your kid to be themselves and ask yourself questions like, “Am I a controlling parent?” “Do I let my teen’s thoughts and interests to diverge from my own?” and “Do I listen to my child?”
Parenting Suggestions for Teenagers
Looking for a guide to help you navigate these years? Here are some suggestions:
Read a novel about an adolescent.
Consider your adolescence. Have you ever experienced acne scarring or the discomfort of growing up too early or too late? Expect your generally sunny child’s attitude to shift, and be prepared for more conflict as he or she evolves as a person. Parents who are aware of what is to come will deal better. And the more information you have, the more prepared you will be.
Early and often communication with children is essential.
It’s too late to talk about menstruation or sexual fantasies if they’ve already started. Answer early questions about bodies that children have, such as the distinctions between boys and girls and the origins of newborns. But don’t overwhelm them with information; instead, simply respond to their queries.
If you don’t know the answers, ask someone who does, such as a trusted friend or your child’s doctor.
You are familiar with your children. You can tell when your youngster is starting to make sex jokes or paying more attention to his or her appearance. This is an excellent chance to ask your questions, such as:
Are you seeing any physical changes?
Do you have any weird sensations?
Do you ever feel melancholy for no apparent reason?
Your preadolescent — and you — may find out what to anticipate in the next years from a doctor. A yearly physical checkup is an excellent opportunity to discuss this. A test might serve as a springboard for a nice parent-child conversation.
The longer you wait to have these discussions, the more likely your kid will create misconceptions about physical and emotional changes, as well as be ashamed or terrified of them.
And the earlier you establish communication channels, the more likely you are to keep them open throughout your adolescent years. Give your child literature on puberty written for children who are experiencing it. Share your adolescent recollections. There’s nothing like knowing that your parents have been there to put youngsters at rest.
Let us know in the comments if you want to know more…