Adolescence begins with the onset of physiologically normal puberty and ends when an adult identity and behavior are accepted. This period of development corresponds roughly to the period between the ages of 10 and 19 years, which is consistent with the World Health Organization's definition of adolescence.

There are several titles about adolescence to be reviewed, but  typical and foremost of them is that, a thirteen years old adolescent will spend the next three to five years struggling not to drown, but learn how to navigate in his/her social ocean

This ocean is their first independent environment where they are going to be challenged by existential anxiety. 

What's more, bear in mind that, this anxiety is fueled by access amounts of hormones ready to multiply the magnitude of their feelings.


Adolescents will be tested brutally by several measures of their dynamic environment. Since they rigorously demand peer’s attention through likes, comments to their posts or DMs, and DCs, they will need to check for their social media accounts every couple of minutes. After all, they are at the very center of social media and internet technologies.

They will be checking if they can charm their older/younger classmates. Moreover, they will always need to know whether they will be called to parties.

A thirteen-year-old will need to follow all the top trends to be recognized, talked about, and sought after for the coming five years. These will contain most parent puzzling things like crazy nails, hairs, piercings, big beards, luxury brands, sneakers, jewelry, catchy tattoos, idols, ideologies, lyrics, and even cokes or trendy coffees which were not allowed for them to drink when they were younger. Not to mention, their risk-free and cool color selections, such as black, for all their outfits or make-ups. If they fail to do these, they won't be recognized as cool, beautiful, cute, fit, and whatever the ‘in’ term that is being used around them. On the contrary,  they will be called, geek, fatty, slut, fag, weak, chicken, sissy… Now lean back for thirty seconds, and imagine you are called with these nicks at the office by your colleagues, nevertheless you need to impress and get the approval of the same group.  Not to mention all of these are happening while you are trying to deliver the report which your boss asked earlier. Sick isn't it? 

It is.

Now think of your child, on the path of becoming a young lady/man, trying to deal with it. This is heartbreaking and potentially leaves a scar at least for a mid-term.

Altogether this is a serious stress for an average 13-17-year-old teenager. Their existence is only approved if they can cope and perform well in their highly demanding environment. But if they can't, they will lose their friends or crushes against a rival, or their friends will skip their names from tags, message lists, or after-school gatherings. They may even be mocked up and laughed at, causing heartfelt pains or even long time scars.

‘To be or not to be’ will be the merciless challenge, which they will face during their adolescent years. During adolescent years they will need to learn to manage this dose of stress with their own resources and by the support of their loved ones.

Occasionally, as a result of a simple defense strategy, they will shift to an introvert in order not to be shaken by the relentless social ocean and not risk their existence. Withal, in most cases, they don’t even need an external comment to despise their very essence. Later on, depending on the harshness, they have faced during their teenage years they might suffer from avoidant attachment in their relationships to protect their hearts from disappointment unconsciously. 

According to an average adolescent, all of the above happens under ‘strict school rules, annoying teachers, exhausting homework, and micro-controller parents'.

On the other hand, according to well-intentioned parents, because they are also heavily worried about their children's safety and well-being, who mainly do not calculate and know the consequences of their courageous and rebellious actions; parents acquire the mission of protecting their teens from 'countless threats'.

 

Stairway to Adulthood

By being a parent of a thirteen-year-old you need to get ready to accept the fact that, adolescents will experience their first mental detachment from their parental resources, which have been serving them for every life matter, till they were born.

 For an average adolescent, it is 'enough with this parental shield' that interferes with their right to play with their own life during these years.

After all, they are fully motivated to experiment with their ‘own’ life and learn their new limits, options, and borders. They need to explore, solve problems, and learn on their own, but, not by control of their parents especially when they are in process of detaching.

If parents could able to succeed to leave a bridge of bond, their children, future adults, will come back a few years later, following the process of detachment.
They will evolve from dependency to interdependency. That bond will be enhanced by respecting their growing individuality and right to experience their own lives. After all, they are in the process of developing their adult identity.

 

Going back to our deep and wild social ocean; once again we need to understand and feel that this ocean is cruel, real, and full of hurricanes for our teenagers.
A fresh adolescent needs to cope with this fast-changing and demanding internal and external universe. This stressful universe consists of recognition, hormonal, sexual, dating, academic, and parental issues.

Remembering that adolescents feel their emotions like they had a quadruple espresso, so, that is why it is extremely difficult to manage them. Most of them will suffer from well-known psychological disorders, and parents will have a hard time following if this is a cause or the result of this period of their lives.

One very important thing to remember about times of maintaining authority is, dominant and protective parents will definitely lose control of their adolescents no matter how 'simple, logical and necessary their rules and demands' are. Any power test on an average teen will backfire directly to parents or trigger conversion. And such conversion will either reflect on their psychology, physical body or even end up with self-harm. Any aggression that is not exposed to the source, will end up either on self or others. 

‘It is obvious that this is the time to question rules, authority, claim their lives, and face their own consequences, and no one should take these away’.

They are growing up. This time they want and need to do it on their own. They are growing out from attached children to detached individuals: adults.

To understand their will to stand and act alone, we need to recall our second detachment experience. The first one was our birth.

Following the birth of a baby, mothers continue to be the extensions of their babies. Every survival need for a baby is being taken care of by a simple act of cry. Even cry is seldom used due to the mother’s continuous attention to her baby’s needs.

Babies are almost in a survival car seat that drives itself around the world with an instinctive power.  Actually, this is just like an external womb still surrounding them. They're still warm, fed, cleaned, and comforted without even crying. 

Human beings experience their second detachment at around two and become toddlers.

This detachment is a physical one. They are almost free and capable of defecating to the toilet, can walk, and feed themselves. There are no nappies, nursing, bottle, or a helping hand while they are standing. They can do all of these actions after countless verbal guidance, visual modeling but foremost by their own personal efforts. With an underlying desire of claiming their right to be free from their parent’s primary support. There is always a delicate balance of protection and control given to their newly developing skills.

Now they are more than happy to walk and talk alone, use their hand and fork to feed themselves, or throw things down on the floor. This age is their first claim of physical freedom finally they are detached from their extensions: mothers.

On the other hand, parents will continue to be the mental extension of their children until they are thirteen. They will do it for the sake of protecting them from countless threats in the environment, help them understand and guide the world around them while they enjoy their second attachment.

Parents know, tell, and prepare them against the stairs, corners, cold, hot, traffic, sugar, glass, sweating, fights, bullies, and millions of other things.

Many parents will recall that they have faced serious protest from their children for forgetting any of the above. If they fall, it is because of the parents, if they bump their head to the table, parents to blame! If they forget their toy outside, it was the parent's responsibility. You should have seen, feel, know, and told them the threat like you have been doing it for the zillion other things for them without even asked for. 'How could you miss it?'

Parents eagerly customize their guidance, explanations, and preservation according to their growing children. They are their children’s mental extension they continue to think before their children act. 

Children demand parents assistance at unknown environments, experiences, ghosts, monsters shadows, nightmares, and so on. They need to overcome the fear of the unknown by parental explanations until none is left at around ten or eleven by the physical and physiological changes. Until then, they had an experience warning/guiding system that acted as their own brain. And our organism does not differentiate whether such resource is within, or out of our skin.

Now, it is the time of adolescence, and it is going to be the third detachment experience for our children. This time it is going to be ninety percent mental. The remaining ten percent is still about physical and economic freedom which will be attained by a driving license and a job in the coming years.

Adolescents have internalized their parents’ mental resource that is guiding them for over ten years.

Over and above they are even fed with this ‘sufficient and repetitive’ information by their parental mental extension and now it is their third birth to almost ultimate freedom.

It is time to claim their self-sufficient intelligence although they are going to face lots of challenges, which once they struggled walking, eating, and holding their toilet against several difficulties and failures.

Adolescents deserve to have their own area, privacy, pocket money, and not credits but rights to fail. They will learn through their mistakes, calculate their budget with their money, and face the consequences of their acts if they are let to do. These are essential for their developing individuality and responsibility.

Speaking of individuality we shall recognize that individuality contains new limits, borders, capacity, experience, knowledge, and potential of recently developing personality of the adolescent

 

Identities: Child, Adolescent, Parent, Wise

 

Adolescents will detach from their parents and become individuals and adults in the coming few years.

There will be neither dependency nor independence. There will be an interdependent relationship needed to be established between two adult parties.
Interdependent people respect each other’s individuality, privacy, right to make their own decisions, on the other hand, they are ready to provide support and warmth whenever it is asked.

As above-mentioned understanding identities shall ease the approach and behaviors of both sides.

Identities position us in a relationship, and in our case, we have parent, teen, and adult identities.

It is critical to respect and encourage our teenage children with their adult identity during this fundamental transition period. It is the end of 'talks and demands' of parental identity, but time for coaching and sharing like you would do it to your adult partner or adult friend without becoming a parent to them.

Soon they will acknowledge the fact that their precious freedom shall be protected by a steel case called responsibility.

They will appreciate this responsibility through the trust which they will receive from their parents. Also, the respect that is paid for their developing individuality, will enhance their will to protect this advantage.

Parents need to encourage to motivate reasoning for their adolescents and convey the process of calculating the consequences of behaviors. 

Because reasoning is the license that they will need to learn during this period to steer their own lives.

This way they will be able to choose and decide between right and wrong. Besides they will be able to stand up after they fall. This way they will get mature and resume on the path...