For many teens, adolescence is a very trying time

Adolescence can be a trying time for teenagers and their parents. According to the American Psychological Association, parents and caregivers face an entirely new set of tasks to deal with the changing needs of children as they reach adolescence. The changes that accompany adolescence include physical, cognitive and social changes, and parents may need to adopt an entirely new approach to parenting as they deal with the changing needs of their children during their period in their lives. The APA notes that adolescents often crave greater independence and autonomy, and this desire is a natural part of their development process. It’s important that parents of adolescents find a way to maintain the familial bonds they and their children have developed up to this point, while also allowing increasingly mature teens a level of autonomy that can benefit them throughout their lives. According to clinical psychologist William Stixrud, Ph.D., decades of psychological research has shown that a lack of perceived control leads people to feel overwhelmed, helpless, hopeless, passive, and resigned. So adolescents who feel that they have control over the direction of their lives, feelings which can be strengthened when they are given some level of autonomy as teenagers, are less likely to feel overwhelmed, helpless, hopeless, passive, or resigned as adults.

Author: Rachel Howell

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