Sensitive Parameters of The Adolescence Period
A child's journey of life starts at the age of five. But the hurdles of this young life begin on reaching the age of nine.
Henceforth this journey is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. This period is known as the adolescence period.
This adolescence period is broken up into the following three broad categories:
- Early Adolescence
- Middle Adolescence
- Late Adolescence
The early adolescence of children varies between the ages of 9 to 12 years of age.
The middle adolescence varies between the ages of 13 to 15 years.
The late adolescence period covers the ages of 16 to 19 years.
During these ages, the children are a confused lot regarding their status in the family and society. They are neither considered children nor adults.
This period in children’s lives is of great prominence. Every adult as a child goes through this state.
The transitional phase of this time brings about physical and psychological development in children. It occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood.
The period of early adolescence in children that occurs between 9 and 12 years is known as the ‘preteen’ or ‘tween’ years.
The period between 13 to 19, the middle and later adolescence period, is referred to as the ‘teenage’ of children.
" If we refuse to accept as
inevitable, the irresponsibility
and educational unconcern of
the adolescent culture,
then this poses a serious challenge."
- James S. Coleman
Basic Needs and Demands
The children, during this period, are confused regarding themselves. They face the following problems:
- Identity and existence to be defined
- They want acceptance of their thoughts and ideas
- They desire their responsibilities to be defined and fixed
The first confusion for them Is regarding their identity and existence in the family. They require that their parents clarify their identity and status.
At this stage, these youngsters are more close to their peers and schoolmates. They have their own viewpoints and ideas of lifestyle.
They usually demand these being accepted by parents and society.
The last feelings are that their responsibilities and duties at home be defined and thrashed out with mutual consent.
The adolescence period is a critical time of identity formation. It comes with an explosion in physical. Intellectual, and social growth along with the onset of puberty.
At this stage, these adolescents have fully developed physical traits similar to adults.
As they interact with their peers they form their own opinions and ideas, thus gaining a distinct identity of their own. This clashes with their guardian's opinion.
These developments require a patient understanding and handling, because of its nature, and scope, by parents.
Times of Stress, Storm, and Crisis
A huge barrier can build up between parents and children during this period of adolescence if elders are not alert and watchful.
One big reason being the rapidly developing physical and emotional changes taking place in children.
These changes though normal but exciting for youngsters are equally confusing and uncomfortable to both sides.
Parents are hesitant to talk freely about it to their kids. The children demand explanations either at home or at school.
The desire to mix freely with the opposite sex grows greater day by day in adolescents.
Hence sex education by trustworthy teachers and parents alike is of utmost importance nowadays.
Experiences undergone by children during these times are not similar. It depends on the family composition, economic conditions, and places of residence.
The differences in economic status can bring about sea changes in the lifestyle of kids during their adolescence.
Race, religion, and cultural heritage along with their economic condition also affect their experiences of life. This makes them hesitant and more confused as they grow up.
The adolescents are supposed to achieve some tasks during this time. Some work they do as a matter of routine similar to others of their age group.
The tasks done and desired by them are usually the following:
- They seek mature relationships with peers of their age and are attracted to the opposite sex.
- The boys and girls desire to play appropriate masculine and feminine roles as per their build.
- They also want to be assigned socially responsible roles in their family.
- In the late adolescent stage, they start dating peers of the opposite sex. These friendships they wish to culminate in marriage and then desire a family.
- All the above behavior leads them to acquire set values and guidelines for their future lives.
"To an adolescent, there
is nothing in the world
then a parent."
- Dave Barry
The above traits of the adolescence period are not as simple as they appear. It is a traumatic time in the relationship between children and parents.
It sometimes has adverse effects on society also.
In their desire for some responsible role their pleas are rejected outright. They are reprimanded curtly.
They are told they are not mature enough to be given responsibilities.
On the other hand, they get scolded on the slightest mistakes and reminded that they are mature enough to refrain from such silliness.
These add to their miseries and sulkiness. It dawns on them that they are an unwanted lot. Thus they seek solace from peers.
Hence it is important for parents, guardians and all grown-ups to give them patient hearings. They should not only comfort them but also give them practical support.
The parents, especially mothers have a more important role to play. Adolescents turn towards their moms for support and guidance.
Matters should be discussed in family sittings and sorted out. Responsibilities should in small measures be doled out proportionately so that they are not burdened.
As they are made to feel responsible they will work diligently and remain on the family and social track.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Bharat Sharan