What makes a teenager toss

Everyone knows that adolescence is a difficult period of human growth and development. It is when the sudden influx of hormones creates physiological changes that prepare the child to be able to reproduce. In some societies or cultures, the ability to reproduce marks the individual as an adult. This is not the case in the United States, because legal adulthood is at the age of 18. Since puberty generally occurs between the ages of 10 and 13, this leaves a 5-8 year span during which the parents remain responsible for the emerging adult. that we label adolescence.

Beginning of adolescence

Hormonal changes create the adult body automatically and beyond the control of the individual. The first indication is that the child is beginning to grow. Since growing up is physical work, although adults generally don’t see it that way, the tired adolescent yearns to sleep. The ironic part of this is that the body releases growth hormones during sleep, so the individual is chronically tired of growing up. As every parent knows, a tired child is irritable and difficult. So are teenagers.

Accompanying growth are the secondary markers of sexual characteristics that we label puberty. Females begin menstruation, develop curved breasts and hips. Males experience physical arousal, thickening of the vocal cords, and facial hair begin to sprout.

For both men and women, these are wonderful and embarrassing changes that each individual must balance with increased responsibilities at school. Students change teachers and are no longer responsible to one person during the school day. Teachers expect higher levels of independent work and homework completion responsibilities. Assignments are longer in duration, which actually creates difficulties for teens distracted by the effects of hormones and their increased need for sleep.


Usually in the early teenage years, full adolescence is at its peak. They lack an appropriate “social filter” in their thought process; The comments often result in a social “disease” of foot and mouth disease where relationships break out and they have no idea what caused the difficulties. Common events trigger emotional outbursts, often inappropriate in scale and duration. Eyes roll when adults give directions or attempt to discipline. Loud voices, name calling, and insolence typify all “conversations” followed by grumpy behavior, slamming doors, or isolation in their bedrooms. Asking permission to go somewhere or do something usually ends in discussions punctuated with “why not” or “everyone else can do / go …” when parents say “no”. Older teens, usually boys, may even have physical confrontations or challenges with father figures.

Management of adolescents

The behavior management and discipline that worked for the child do not work for the adolescent. It’s not just apparent hormonal and physical changes taking place. The adolescent is developing an adult thought process. Just as they discovered the fantasies that were Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy when they were between 6 and 8 years old, teenagers realize that adults (especially their parents) are not perfect and do not know everything . Their apparent “why” or “why not” challenges are actually attempts to expose adult reasoning to them. Unfortunately, most parents respond as if the adolescent is challenging their authority and a power-control relationship develops that is not beneficial to either the individual or the family as a whole.

The best way to handle teens is to guide them through their reasoning in any situation. It is easy? Usually, but it takes a long time. Think of the time you spend reasoning with them as time you spend teaching them the skills they need as adults. Adolescence is marked by egocentric thinking and behavior (just like infancy and childhood, but in different ways). Adolescents generally do not understand the ramifications and consequences of actions. Parents are concerned about the safety and well-being of their children. Just because the adolescent knows where they are, their friends, and the environmental conditions that affect them all, the egocentric thought process assumes that the parent knows as well.

Adolescents must learn to think in terms of the points of view of others. They need to learn to see beyond the obvious and understand the limitations of time, effort, and money. They need to learn that their confidence can be inappropriate, that their security can easily be compromised. They need to learn the analytical process step by step to determine cause and effect in social relationships, especially those in which someone else has authority and / or control.

Decision making

Adolescence is a time when people want to show their “adult” powers by testing their decision-making skills. Unfortunately, the school curriculum is not concerned with how to make decisions and parents are often unaware of the need or how to teach what they do automatically. Decision making begins by making decisions among the available options. Again, sadly, many people do not know how to discover their options. Since each choice has consequences, many of which can be unforeseen, and decisions involve long-term planning that generally escapes the powers of adolescent egocentric reasoning, their decision-making and decision-making generally results in frustration. , failure and emotional reactions.

Parents should begin teaching their children how to make decisions by having them make structured decisions. From those successful experiences, they can help their children understand the consequences of actions and take the initial steps to make simple decisions. Guidelines for teaching these skills can be found on the Parent Modules page in Parents Teach Kids.

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