What Is Adolescent, Adolescence?

What is an adolescent? Adolescence is the epilogue of childhood and the prologue to maturity.

Adolescence is from about the age of eleven to the late teen years and is a time when children develop adult physical characteristics. As your child turns to this time of his life you will notice many mood swings. At one moment he may act like his world is wonderful, then the next moment he may change and be actually angry. This is because his body is changing and he is becoming an adult and also becoming independent. This is a natural and normal process.

At this time he may not be sure of himself and may be searching for answers to lots of questions. He may be searching for his own particular identity. As you know identity is the particular part of a person's personality by which others will recognize him. An identity is what composes his personality.

It is sometimes hard for a person in this adolescence stage of life to understand himself and also very hard for him to express himself. He may not enjoy activities such as playing board games as he once did before this adjustment period. He may be looking for a new role model and also want to learn new ideas and be challenged further. Joining a group such as a school club at this time may interest him greatly.

Being with others who are going through this adjustment period will help him adjust. He may decide to enter sporting activites at school or perhaps join the school debating club. Please encourage your child to join these groups as he will grow and learn participating especially with others who are learning and preparing for life afer school.

He may want to be part of a peer group. A peer group is composed of a group of people who are alike in one or more ways, usually in age and also in interests. This peer group can bring about good results. It can also bring about bad results depending on the particular personalities and traits of the members. Be careful to watch and see if he is influenced by peer pressure which is defined as the urging from peers to follow the crowd. Sometimes in a peer group there can be some who encourage bad habits such as smoking. When a person gives in to peer pressure he is basically searching for his own identity. If he has a secure identity he will approach this group with a positive attitude and realize the things that are acceptable and also those that are not. He needs to be strong enough to say no to bad ideas without being angry or even embarrassed. People with a secure sense of identity can feel close to others without feeling they are losing their individual identity.

At this time he will have an urge to search for his own values. Values are beliefs and standards that are important to live by. He will learn that his conscience plays a part in his behavior. As you know the conscience is that part of you that separates right from wrong. When he is a teenager and in this period of adolescence he will want to know your reasons behind the rules you set forth for him to live by. Before this period and time in his life he probably did not question your giving him rules and following them. He will also begin to question different things such as politics and may form thoughts that will lead him to support one particular political party.

This is a time when he will question what he will do with his life beyond his junior high and high school years. He will be thinking about forming a new life that will go along with his particular type of personality. He will begin to have goals for the future and may plan a course of study to obtain those goals. Sure he may want to change those goals by the time he finishes high school but it is excellent if he does have goals. It is just wise to prepare and be ready for change.

He will also begin to reach some emotional maturity during this period of his life. Naturally maturity means the state of being full grown and at times he may think he has reached that stage of his life. Some people during the period of adolescence can make very wise decisions about their lives while others cannot.

You as parents need to be there to guide and advise your child during these years.

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