The journey from ‘What I am’ to ‘what I want to become’ is what we call adolescence. This is the phase when teenagers take baby steps towards becoming an adult. They feel a strong urge to make their identity, an urge to rebel, they change and develop their own perspective. Both mind and body go through an inevitable change. Adolescence is often termed as a severe phase, for both the child and parents. This happens to be the time of clay moulding into shapes of fine structures. A phase of emotional and identity development in teens!
Here’s how to handle the emotional and identity development in teens:
- A struggle to find their identity as individualsDuring this time, the inevitable “I’m grown up enough to make decisions” from the teenagers is naturally countered by “I’ve been through your age; listen to what I say,” by parents. The result is, a riff between the parents and child. A parent needs to behave like a friend when needed and guide the child, not just rebuke him. Most parents do try hard maybe, but at the end of the day, a parent is a parent after all.
- Consciousness about their looks and appearancesThe very kid, who once never had the interest to dress up, suddenly becomes conscious about appearances. Kids start to compare their looks with friends and peers. More often than not, develop an affinity for expensive commodities and dandy accessories. The obsession should be stemmed in its roots, but approving this to some extent wouldn’t do much harm. (First impression, you know?)
- To be highlightedThe modern day society demands excellence in every aspect be it academics or curricular. Naturally, the kids succumb to such pressure. Obviously, for healthy living, good performance is important but bestowing the young ones with the burden of dreams isn’t right. The teens need the freedom and space to choose their goals. Often many kids start rebelling to cope up with this and develop a dislike for their guardians. This can go haywire in a family. Be a guide, be a parent, but never forget to be a friend. Above all, have expectations, but don’t burden them, with your own unfulfilled dreams. Let him pave his own path.
- To be independent and trying to take decisionsAdolescence gives a positive boost to a kid’s esteems. This is when the teens believe they are “THE BOSS” – the brave heroes, who can never go wrong! Providing them a platform and opportunity is exactly when they start learning by their experiences. If they defeat, it is again a lesson to learn. In the process, they mature and will stand up to tackle the tougher situation in life. This is the important phase in identity development in teens.
- Explore and discover about themselvesThe above 12 age group, ranging from 13-19 also learns to explore their body and sexuality. They determine the needs and wants of their body. Sexuality shouldn’t be dealt as a taboo! Avoiding such commercials or barring the teen from the internet, isn’t the right way to deal with it. Like every parent was once a teen and was under someone’s supervision, they must know, hiding such topics doesn’t stop one from learning things. Hence, sex education should be a prominent part of education.
- They tend to be rebelliousAdolescence marks a generally irritated behaviour, dislike towards elders and rebel against the barriers they make. There lies a certain pride in dealing others instructions with nonchalance. Teens choose to spend time with friends over their parents, who no wonder are the partner in crimes and won’t even restrict from anything.
Adolescence happens to be a very crucial part of every person’s life. The flower bud blooms with nurture, love, close communication and empowering them. Parents have a pivotal role to play in this sensitive phase of their life. Their approach is primarily what decides how the emotional and identity development in teens. If guided properly, these can be the brightest and most colourful days a child’s life.