When we think about having children we have visions of cute little beings who look to you for their every need and coo and smile when they get these needs met. No one prepares you for the changes that occur when they hit their pre teen and teen years. No matter how loving, kind, or giving you are as a parent get ready for the roller coaster ride that is called-adolescence.
According to Wikipedia, “Adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning “to grow up”) is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority)”. This period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, though its physical, psychological and cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later. Although puberty has been historically associated with the onset of adolescent development, it now is thought to begin prior to the teenage years. It further states, “Physical growth, as distinct from puberty (particularly in males), and cognitive development generally seen in adolescence, can also extend into the early twenties”.
Raising children from birth to adulthood takes a tremendous amount of patience and forgiveness. No matter the situation it becomes clear that reasoning is only useful if you have an adult present. When dealing with 10 yr old to 19 yr old children one can almost certainly expect total blocking out or indifference when attempting to direct, guide, or in general, raise these children. By the way, if they aren’t putting up resistance you should ask what is going on because no matter where you are in the world this is the norm. The task is to separate and individuate.
In the process of individuation, you transition from the family’s ways of viewing the world and defining who you are as a person to becoming an individual with your own perspective and your own feelings and ideas. This process takes place throughout one’s lifetime and results in the continual development of your own voice. What is key during this time is the understanding that testing is paramount to growing. If your teen isn’t testing you, they aren’t moving forward. When these behaviors become the norm it is interesting to note that it appears as if aliens have taken your children and left some distortion of a stranger that appears to zone out, defy your rules, experiment with anything potentially dangerous as well as generally become disagreeable.
The knowledge that this phase of development will come to an end does little for the many stressful encounters along the way. What is certain is you, and they will survive