Sue Scheff: The Emotional Lives of Adolescents

By Education.com

 

Building a Bridge Between Dependence and Autonomy

 

 

Author: Alexandra DeGeorge, Psy.D.
Source: NYU Child Study Center

 

 

Although adolescence was once believed to be a time of rebellion and tumult, we now know that this developmental stage is calmer than previously assumed. The “rebellion” often seen in teens is likely due to the increased physical, cognitive and social changes that occur in development. During this period, parents may feel as if their teen has turned into another person. Teenagers are often described as “moody,” “irritable,” “argumentative,” “indecisive” and “consumed with oneself.” The once docile school-aged child is now snapping back to her parents when she isn’t able to wear a particular outfit to school.

 

 

The child who listened and agreed with his father’s reasoning for the way things work in the world is suddenly questioning his father’s explanations and values. Still at other times, your adolescent appears understanding and accepting of your advice. Typical experiences include both of these extremes, vacillating between occasions where your teen reaches out and requests your support with occasions where your opinions are rejected. Family conflict that ensues commonly centers on everyday issues.

 

For example, you may be likely to argue with your teen over the clothing he chooses, amount of time she spends on the computer, or setting a curfew.Why the observable differences in your child? Throughout this phase of development, a bridge is forming between childhood and adulthood. The teen begins to develop independence and autonomy while also remaining reliant on the family. The period of adolescence is fraught with many changes, and as we look at them in context, we begin to understand the responses that typify teenage behavior.

 

 

 

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