According to the dictionary, the word “Adolescence” is the stage of youth; or maturity. And yet, if you really think about it, that definition merely touches the surface. Adolescence is that part of ones life that he or she will never forget because it plays a big role in the formation of who that person will become.
It is quite normal for parents to think they know their children; REALLY know their children. In fact what they know, in most cases, is their child’s external behavior. Anything, which doesn’t fit into the parent’s idea of the child’s character, is liable to be classified as an unexpected reaction or absurd behavior.
To know a child however, one must not judge him by his defects, or his virtues. To do this could lead to the child being classified by the parents in such a way as to make it difficult for them ever to abandon this view. Knowledge of a person’s external behavior is a rather superficial kind of knowledge. It could lead parents to think of their child in terms of what he does, rather than what he is.
It is not clear what criteria parents follow when the want to classify or describe their child. Often they expect the child to fit into a scheme of adult values without realizing that the world of the adult and that of the child are quite distinct. Children have to be educated to be adults; it is not a matter of trying to turn them into adults when they are still children. And this is where the adolescence stage comes in.
In addition to character, age is a relevant factor in the formation of a child’s personality. One often hears the remark that a child is young for his age or vice versa. It could be that the only thing that has happened is that the child has taken on the characteristics of another age group. Parents should remember that, in a child’s development, there is a whole series of successive stages from birth to maturity. A child in the process of growing up goes through a number of definite phases, each one having a particular physic structure that is reflected in characteristic behavior.
Adolescence basically has two stages: Early adolescence (12-15), and the Young adult or Late adolescence (16-18). During the first stage, the child undergoes a series of physiological changes that are in conflict with the previous stage of stability. That is, the toddler stage wherein his/her parents are considered to be the child’s best friends. This is when he reaches the height of his physical growth along with the formation of secondary sexual characteristics and the development, later on, of sexual maturity. This occurs earlier is some children than in others, particularly in the case of girls. As a result of emotional developments, feelings and emotions can take pride of place with the result that many children who were good at school begin to get bad results and go downhill in their schoolwork.
The young person doesn’t fully understand what is happening to him and sometimes acts like a child and at others like a grown up. Consequently he frequently shares his experiences in a gang and with friends of a similar age. The friendship frees the child from the insecurity which he/she feels towards older people, for the child senses that he/she is not what they want him/her to be and what’s even worse, is not even what he/she wants to be.
Similarly, the child needs in someway to oppose or test the family environment. Sometimes he encloses himself in a kind of dumbness from which it is very difficult to extract him and at other times, he is irritable without apparent cause. This is nothing more than a tendency to assert his personality.
Understanding is the key to the process but it shouldn’t be taken to extremes. Sometimes, decisions will have to be made in order to educate and to maintain the correct relationship with the child. He needs his parents even though he doesn’t understand them and at times, even opposes them.
The second stage is the continuation of the affirmation of the child’s “ego”. The whole world has been a crisis and now has