Parenting Adolescents, Part I: Are You Ready for the Changes Coming with Adolescence?
As you probably know, adolescence is defined as the time of growth between childhood and adulthood. And if you think back on your own adolescent experience, you probably have vivid memories of both the internal and external battles that paved your pathway to maturity. It is during this time that you began to think about how you fit into the world around you; something you probably had not really thought about before as a child. You might also remember wanting your own “space” and the freedom to express your opinions. This was complicated by strange new sexual feelings that threatened your relationships and inspired new ones. By reflecting back upon the confusing and exhilarating memories of your adolescence, you can put yourself in the mindset of your child and understand why your parenting methods might need some fine-tuning to adapt to this time of change in their life.
Developing adolescent brain
During the toddler years, there is a dramatic change that takes place in the child’s brain. Just think back to when you walked hand in hand with your child while he or she was a toddler and you explored their little world together. Adolescence is also a time of exploration but adolescents prefer to explore their world independent of your watchful eye.
Change in the adolescent brain guides the child toward adulthood. New connections are being made and unused ones eliminated to mature your child’s mind and body for the future. Your adolescent is on a DNA-guided trajectory toward independence and sexual maturity that is necessary for our species to perpetuate. You are an important part of this journey because you are the parent and the voice of reason that guides your adolescent on this winding path.
This series begins by exploring changes in the adolescent brain that results in changes in behavior. The last few articles discuss the stages of puberty and presents ideas for you to consider in your relationship with your child.
Something to consider
Are you ready to embrace the thought that your adolescent is maturing?
Keeping your child young in your mind does not slow the biological process in their body.
How have you prepared yourself for the changes that are coming?
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