It seems only like it was just yesterday that you were still carrying your baby. Time goes by so fast; faster than what parents like you would have liked. Now that your child has grown up and has gotten older, you are probably concerned about him/her having entered the teenage phase.
Yes, you have lived through all those extremely early morning hours feeding your child, managing your kid’s temper tantrums, and handling his/her back-to-school issues exceptionally well. But your life, as a parent, is going to become even more complex, especially now that your baby is already a teenager.
The Teenage Phase – A Time Wherein Parents Usually Have it the Hardest
When you take into consideration the fact that the teenage years involve so much significant growth and development, you are going to realize why many parents are so concerned about this stage in a person’s life. Remember: becoming a teenager means growing not only in physical terms, also in intellectual and emotional aspects.
Negative Perceptions of Teens
Many adults often negatively perceive teenagers. However, contrary to popular belief, teenagers can actually be full of energy, idealistic, and thoughtful. Many of them also have a genuine interest in things that are right and fair. And so, even if the teenage years are often the times wherein parents have conflicts with their children, it is also the time wherein parents can help them grow into law-abiding and just individuals.
When the Period of Adolescence Begins
So when exactly does a child become an adolescent? There is no exact answer to this. Each person is different and unique, which means that your child may either be any of the following:
1. Early Bloomer
2. Late Arriver
3. Slow, Yet Steady Grower
4. Speedy Developer
In simpler terms, the adolescence period covers a broad period of time, and the four types of developers enumerated above are all considered normal.
However, you should also understand that there is a difference between puberty and adolescence. Many people often only associate puberty as the period in a person’s life wherein sexual characteristics, such as the development of breasts, facial hair, and pubic hair, as well as the start of menstrual periods, take place. Yes, there is no denying the fact that these things are part of the puberty period, but they are just in terms of physical attributes. There are many different things that a person can be experiencing inside and may not be as apparent as these physical changes.
How Children Commonly Announce their Adolescence
In most cases, the age wherein a child goes through adolescence is marked by various changes in his/her behavior, particularly how he/she acts around his/her parents. This may be in the form of separation and independence. For example, you may notice that your child is starting to spend less time with you and more time with his/her friends. You may also notice that he/she is no longer asking you for advice on what to wear, how to decorate his/her room, or how to deal with homework and other school projects.
In addition to this, adolescence can also be marked by the period wherein children begin to explore various identities and looks. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and the people who are not part of their family. They also begin to have the awareness of how different and similar they are to certain people who they spend a lot of time with.
The Truth about Rebelliousness during Adolescence
A very popular stereotype of teenagers is the rebellious child. Many adults often associate adolescence with children who continuously butt heads with their parents. While this is true for some families, rebelliousness does not actually occur in each and every teenager.
It is important for you to understand that the teenage years is the time wherein children begin to aim for independence. In order for them to be successful in doing so, they have to start pulling themselves away from their parents. This may appear, especially to an outsider, like they just want to be at odds with their parents, or feel like they no longer want to be around their parents, but the truth is, they just want to start becoming more independent.
As a teenager becomes more mature, he/she is going to start thinking more rationally and in abstract ways. They are still establishing the framework of their morality – the code that they are going to live by as they grow older. Your responsibility now is not to prevent them from becoming independent, but provide them with the support and assistance that they need to create a code that is moral, just, and right.