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THOUGHT-PROVOKING WEDNESDAYS

Posted on: July 28, 2010

Teen Age Characteristics-Who Are You?
By Judy H. Wright
www.ArtichokePress.com

              Do you even recognize the kid who is eating four
              ham sandwiches at lunch and is hungry ten minutes
              later? Who is this six foot hormone with a mouth
              and feet that grow daily? Is your daughter really
              the center of the universe or does she just think
              she is? What is normal?

              Characteristics of fifteen to eighteen 
              year old adolescence
   
              Personal disorganization, mood swings, and
              intense self-interest characterizes this period of
              adolescence, as does a great deal of oral behavior.
              Either food, nails or hair is going into the mouth
              with slang, profanity or laughter coming out. This
              group is concerned about shifting feelings and
              physical changes (or lack thereof), not only in
              themselves but in their 30 best friends also. The
              internal stress that takes place right now is
              normal, yet would be viewed as a serious emotional
              disorder at other developmental stages.

              This is also an exploration stage. Adolescents
              tend to explore the boundaries of their
              capabilities.They experiment with independence
              of their capabilities. They experiment
              with independence by setting up situations to
              test whether it is acceptable for them to
              think independently.

              No brakes on mouth or attitude

              This may take the form of major arguments with
              parents to mild critical statements made about
              home, family, the world and especially the food
              placed on the table. Most of these patronizing
              remarks are made with what my husband fondly
              calls “the face.” (“The face” is characterized
              by a sneering expression and half-closed eyes,
              indicating that only a turnip would fail to
              see the validity of the intelligent point
              they have just made.)

              After being chastised for “the face” or “that
              attitude,”” teens frequently withdraw from the
              family to sulk or get better acquainted with
              their feelings. During this period teens
              have a great need for privacy.
              To work or not to work, that is the question

              Many kids of this age in America are working at
              some type of part-time job. As parents we may have
              mixed emotions about whether the work experience
              and extra spending money are worth the academic
              and extra-curricular activities they give up to
              have these jobs.

              Recent studies have shown that the optimum part-
              time job should not exceed ten to 12 hours per week
              for adolescents still in school. Under 12 hours of
              outside work per week can increase a teen”s self-
              confidence and sense of responsibility and allow
              for good balance in life. Over 12 hours causes
              too great a loss in valuable social, family, and
              activity time.

              However, a teen may fight you on this as they
              think the money is great  after all, the money is
              mostly discretionary and does not have to go to pay
              rent, buy groceries or pay for health insurance.

              We are the sounding board and safety net

              Ideally it takes at least four strong, caring adults
              to bring each child to maturity. Hopefully two of
              those role models can be parents, but they also need
              other responsible adults, such as teachers, coaches
              or relatives, to act as sounding boards for
              their ideas. Teenagers frequently deny the need
              for attention from parents, but the need is
              still there.

              Our job is to teach, guide and keep them safe until
              they become the independent contributing adults we
              know they will.

              Build self esteem and confidence with
              encouraging words

              For a free eBook on Building Self Confidence
              with Encouraging Words, please go to:

               http://www.UseEncouragingWords.com It is
              written by popular family coach Judy H. Wright also
              known as Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer.
              You will enjoy being a part of the community of
              parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches and 
              mentors to build relationships of mutual respect.

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Irene Roth

Irene S. Roth, Freelance Writer for Teens, Tweens, and Kids

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