As if being a kid isn’t hard enough, one day you wake up and realize that your mood is unpredictable, your voice doesn’t sound like your own, you have a bit of a scent on your body, acne is now a constant friend, and what was cool is no longer. And let’s not forget about parents who are probably more in your space and worried about everything from you ‘not thinking things through,’ being in your room too much, being on the phone or computer too much, you having a new style of clothes, and different grades and friends. While all of this is going on you’re expected to be and act the same even though you now have the word ‘teen’ attached to your identity. What is going on?
Well it’s a little thing called change and it’s not all for not. The brain, body, family and friends are shifting and they’re supposed to whether you’re ready for it or not. Essentially, this adolescent developmental stage is a complicated process that spans the biological, psychological and social spectrums, and it’s an adjustment that can be a fun and a trying time for all involved. Yes, parents go through their own trials and tribulations during this time too. The inherent perks are often accompanied by consequences for both the teen and the parent who are traversing this growth rollercoaster together. And, it’s a reminder that the old ways of functioning and coping are probably in need of a tweak or two.
You and your teen can survive this potentially tumultuous but wonderful time in your lives. Yes, it’s a wonderful time. A time for change that can be difficult for each party but doable if all involved are willing to collaborate and work as a team, a family. So take a deep breath and get ready.
Llouana Harper, LPC, NCC
Group Therapy Associates