We need to better understand adolescent developmental stages to help us not take teenage behavior as a personal attack on us. By becoming familiar with these stages, we will increase our competence in encouraging teens to establish their sense of identity.
Teens are preparing to separate or individuate from the family. They are in the process of developing their values.
Teenagers must initiate this separation and often rebellion gives them the energy to do this. A teenager challenges rules and values as a way of establishing his or her individuality. Adolescents cannot do this in a vacuum, but rather through conflict and confrontation.
Adolescents may be rude or make fun of parents and other authority figures and not want to be with them. In a teenager’s mind, defiance expresses autonomy and says that he or she doesn’t need parents in and often serves as a test of parental caring.
Due to body changes, there can be confusion about whether teenagers really do want to grow up.
Hormonal changes cause mood swings marked by tearfulness, heightened sensitivity, sudden flare-ups, an increased need for physical activity and inappropriate laughter and giggling.
Teens begin to work out their relationships with their peers to find out how they fit in.
Teens start relating to the opposite sex in a different way than they did when they were younger (where there were once friendships, romantic relationships and/or deeply felt negative emotions may surface).
Teenagers have a heightened need for privacy. Experiencing privacy gives them a new sense of control and autonomy. They need privacy to test things out for themselves without parent input.
Teenagers may feel all-powerful and all-knowing at the same time that they experience fears of inadequacy and failure.
Teens still need an adult to relate to, but in a different way than they did when they were younger.
Rules Without Relationship = Rebellion
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