They have lived through 2 am feedings, endured toddler temper tantrums and put up with the but-I-don't-want-to-go-to-school-today blues. So why does the word 'adolescence' cause parents so much anxiety?
The beginning of adolescence marks an individuals passage from childhood to adulthood, one of the major transitions one will ever have to go through. This transition can benefit or disadvantage ones life. During these years, teenagers are expected to make certain smaller transitions, causing a roller coaster effect on their lives and the lives of those around them. However these major transitions are controlled or managed reflects on the outcomes, thus making them great changes in life!
As teenagers gradually enter the unknown, two key fundamental elements of their lives are challenged, called into question and changed: self-identity and relationships.
Previously, as children, a teenager's self-identity would have been stable and clear. For example, a 6th grade student would say, "I am female, a dancer, a netball player and school captain".
However, as adolescence knocks on our door, we want to create a sense or uniqueness for ourselves. 'Who am I', 'Where do I fit in', 'What do I believe in', 'What role do I play' and 'Why is that right or wrong' are all questions asked by teenagers relating to their self-identity, and as they grow older these questions become more complex. This is why teenagers start to search for a sense of belonging.
As teenagers are growing through this episode of 'searching', there are various aspects of their lives that heavily influence their identity. These include cultural, ethnic, religious, family, social, world and media influences. As one becomes older, they go through a transition of awareness, coming to the attention of how the influences in their lives affect the concepts of their self. These influences also assist teenagers to...