Adolescence

Prof. Dr. Fathia Muhammed Bahshawan

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The period of adolescence is known as the transition period from childhood to youth, which begins at the age of 12 years old and ends at the age of 21 years old for males, while for females it begins at the age of 13 years old and ends at the age of 22 years old. Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to youth, and begins with a biological (organic) form of puberty, and at the end of it becomes a social phenomenon where teenagers play roles different than what they did before.

 

This phenomenon is affected by biological and physiological growth factors and many physical and emotional changes that may make adolescents feel uncomfortable and tight as well as their desires for independence and self-reliance increase, which may conflict with the role of parents causing some problems.

 

Studies have proven that adolescence is a normal stage of growth, and that the adolescent is not exposed to a growth crisis as long as this growth is going in its natural course, as it is accompanied by many physical, psychological, cognitive and emotional changes for the child. The conditions that the teenager goes through are the psychological struggles that afflict him while trying to be independent, taking responsibility and leaving a life of dependency, social and external pressures, independent thinking, choosing a profession, education, decision-making, and self-realization, taking into account that this is within the circle of social and religious standards, in addition to the different views among parents and educators regarding some concepts such as authority, freedom, order, obedience and others.

 

As a result of these changes, children’s view of the things around them differs, as well as the way they deal with situations and those around them, and this may be stressful for them and their parents. Therefore, some children may suffer from feeling a large intellectual gap between them and their parents, and this may push them to withdraw from their parents during this period, as a result of their feeling that no one understands them nor what they are going through.

 

The psychological changes that adolescents go through affect their behavior greatly, and it may have an impact on them throughout their lives, whether positively or negatively. Adolescents at this stage feel the need for more privacy, may begin to explore ways to be independent from their families, and react aggressively if a parent tries to treat them too hard or impose more restrictions on them.

Adolescents' thinking at this stage also focuses around self-affirmation and a sense of independence or rebellion as well as dependence on friends more than family. Peer pressure and friends play a central role in the decision-making process and behavioral patterns, including antisocial and unhealthy patterns that put adolescents at risk, such as aggression and drinking alcohol, drug use, unprotected sex and other bad habits. It may also help in identifying and expressing their identities in many behaviors, such as: their own tastes in music, joining groups, expanding social networks online, and choosing strange clothes.

 

Therefore, care must be taken at his stage, giving the teenager more privacy, trying to share the boundaries, talking to him, and bringing the relationship between him and his parents closer to a friendship in order to gain his trust in this critical period. Also, he must be directed without pressure, listened to, and met with more containment, to turn to his parents when seeking advice. It is preferable if parents at this stage feel unable to deal with their children to consult a psychologist to help them deal with their children, especially if they have violent behavior or a total refusal to listen and accept advice, or if their behavior affects their dealings with those around them or at school.

 

Children, during the adolescence in particular, need a friend more than they need a father and a mother, especially since they feel that they have matured to the extent that they do not need someone to dictate their actions, draw boundaries for them, or try to impose his opinion on them. Sons need to be dealt with calmly, listened to more than spoke to, to be given indirect guidance in the form of an opinion without criticism or judgment-building, to be treated as capable of making their own decisions, and be given confidence, as teens want to feel loved and appreciated by their families.

 

So, the adolescence is a period during which a person experiences many physical and emotional changes, and in order to understand the teenager more, it is necessary to know the pressures that confront him or her. Parents must be more patient when dealing with him or her; as he or she needs a lot of time to find the right balance of behavior and independence. If a teenager behaves badly sometimes, he or she shall return to normal in time, so parents must forgive and forget or overcome the mistakes of their teenage children, and move towards guiding their behavior.

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