The teenage years in a child’s life can be the most challenging for parents and families. Many teens, but not all, go through a period of increased emotional turmoil which can lead to increased conflict with their parents. It can be a challenging time for the family as a whole.
This period in a child’s life is sometimes referred to as “Storm and Stress”. Adolescence is a time when an individual is experiencing rapid changes in their body and social networks. They are juggling increased pressures from school, society and peers. It is also a time when teenagers are seeking more independence in order to transition from a child role to that of an adult.
Storm & Stress is the most likely time that an individual will experience increased conflict with parents, mood disruptions, and engage in risky behaviours. While to some extent this upheaval is “normal” it is important to consider when your teen is experiencing more than just “normal adolescence”.
Adolescents may want more freedom and independence from the family. This can be a balancing act and may involve negotiation as well as compromise. However it’s important to determine the appropriate equilibrium that protects young people from potential dangers but also allows them to develop as a person. After all, a teenager cannot show you they can be trusted unless they have an opportunity to be trustworthy.
Teenagers will likely want increasing time away from the family to spend with their friends. This can be important in developing individuality and independence. However a teen who isolates them self in their room and increasingly cuts off contact with their friends may be a cause for concern.
If you are concerned that your child may be struggling with more than just “normal adolescence” it can be helpful to seek the input of an Adolescent Psychologist. They can help provide an outside perspective on the situation and determine if behaviours should be a cause for concern.
If you have questions regarding how we can help please contact us on 02 4929 2223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Child Psychologist Daniel Wendt is the Principal Psychologist of Oracle Psychology in Newcastle, NSW.