In adolescence, the child physically, psychologically and socially transforms into a young adult, breaking from childhood attachment and security, and acquiring freedom and responsibility to explore newer avenues for himself or herself. The tumultuous phase of adolescence is marked by overwhelming chaos, and yet, has the silver lining of being a period of self-discovery. This juxtaposition may be just enough to wreck emotional havoc in the lives of teens.
The novelty of the situations they experience may leave them confused, overwhelmed or frustrated, often making them act in ways that may stress out their caregivers, i.e. the parents. However, it is important for caregivers to recognize these changes and be patient and conversation-ready for their young one.
The biological and hormonal changes in adolescents can make them more vulnerable to emotional fluctuation. You may notice that your kid has become too moody all of a sudden, being angry over a trivial issue at one moment while being excited and happy over a simple accomplishment at the next moment. Observe if your kid is unable to relax, is struggling to strike up a conversation with you, or seems to be distant and lost. They may be contemplating over their experiences, considering the innumerable possible ‘what if’ scenarios to re-experience a situation better than before. It may lead to failures in controlling emotions, crying, anger outbursts and so on.
They may appear perpetually distracted, affecting their task efficiency, and in turn leading to trouble at school. They may appear disobedient or rebellious towards authority – be it parents or teachers – in an effort to bask in their ability to make independent choices. The new found freedom and responsibility may make the child more confident, but any obstacle encountered thereof may engulf him in self-doubt; often making teens edgy and nervous. Consequently, it may result in lowered self-esteem. It is the age when friendships with the opposite gender begin transforming, attraction playing a role in how they interact in the social sphere. Being in a relationship, or even wanting to be in one, or breaking up can cause significant emotional upheaval for teenagers, affecting their sense of security as adults.
Although this may just be a part and parcel of growing up, your kid may need your support in this crucial time. They may not come to you or ask for advice, they may not want your solutions; all they may want is for someone to walk with them during this transition. Being there for your child does not mean you remove all obstacles in his path, it means making certain that your child doesn’t walk alone, that you’re there by his side to lend a helping hand, or a ‘listening ear’.
– By Ms. Asmita Dalvi