Adolescence is one of the most confusing times in a person's life. It is that period when they don't know how they are supposed to feel and act. There are traits of both an adult and their childhood present in them and that is why behaving like either, or both, gets very confusing for them. In addition to that, puberty brings in raging hormones that confuse them further. In the following article we will look into some of the common adolescent behavior forms, what they signify, and how to deal with them.
Adolescence is taken as the time that starts from the age of 13, but some have shown signs of entering adolescence even at the age of 10. Age, therefore, is not a criterion to go by. Along with the physical changes that herald in adolescence, there are several behavioral changes that can be commonly seen as a part of adolescent behavior. It is these behavior patterns that we shall be looking into in the following paragraphs.
Need for Independence
If one looks at the adolescent psychology and development, the most noticeable behavioral change that parents will witness in their children is their need for space and independence. They no longer depend on their parents for every small need and they assert this in every possible manner. They do not like to necessarily follow everything that the parents say and want them to do. In this manner, they want to be independent in all the decisions that they take and need those decisions to be their own. They therefore start to ween away from parents and can be seen to be turning into adults who want their space. Though it is a completely different matter that most teens might not have the mental set up to take wise decisions and tackle problems that are born of wrong decisions. In that way they still need their parents. That is why teen years are full of distress.
Need to Belong
Adolescents will begin to realize that there is a world outside their own home and there are people of their own age groups as opposed to just their parents. This age will therefore bring in a pattern where they have an intense need to be with people from their own age group. Making new friends becomes very important in this age. And more important is the need to belong and be accepted into a group and to feel a part of that setup. The fear of being lonely and the need to be with friends is so strong that many fall victim to peer pressure and are likely to take up smoking, drinking, and sometimes, even destructive behavior like vandalism. This is mostly driven by their need to belong to a group (unless there are problems like lack of attention or love at home). And since they have no idea of the consequences of their actions, they can get roped in.
This is one of those behavior traits that is used almost as a synonym with adolescent behavior. But it is not a necessary or a compulsory trait that dominates all adolescents. Rebellion is only an adolescent's way of trying to assert his independence and identity. They start thinking, rationalizing, questioning, and analyzing things and they no longer listen and accept everything that their parents say at the first go. They want to form their own opinions and that is what they tend to do. Add to this fact that there are many confusing emotions that they go through because of the surge of hormones, and so parents become witness to 'difficult' behavior. But very few adolescents start off on a decided mission that they are to make their parents' lives miserable.
Adolescent Behavioral Problems
It is also fairly common for adolescents to experience behavior problems as well as behavior disorders. While most behavior problems are common and will fall into place as the teens find their footing over a passage of time, certain problems like chronic depression or eating disorders is something that needs to be looked into seriously for they can lead to behavior disorders that will last a lifetime and make adjustment in society difficult.
Dealing with their Behavior
A knowledge of the different forms and patterns of adolescent behavior will help all parents in understanding their children and therefore being there for them. Talking to them and forming a bond can be thus achieved. Not only that, but a knowledge of the same will help confused adolescents to understand that what they are experiencing is normal and is to be expected. It also teaches them to get a grip on themselves and control unnecessary difficult behavior if they are doing that.
Adolescent behavior can be a very tricky business to follow for parents and teens themselves. But a knowledge of the same helps all those involved to be better prepared for dealing with behavioral changes effectively. And then of course, adolescence will pass over to herald in adulthood, which―though does not promise a bed of roses―for many, seems easier to handle than adolescence.