Adolescence is an adventure for teens and the adults who love them – a wonderful, messy, confusing, beautiful, crazy adventure.
Hormones are commonly blamed for the vast ups and downs of adolescence, but though there are hormonal changes, the changes in teens are primarily because of changes in the brain. Understanding these changes will help make the path through adolescence easier for everyone.
Adolescence is a time a discovery. Teens will discover fears, self-doubt and heartache they’ve never known before.
They will discover creativity, strength and courage they never knew they had.
They will find a depth of emotion they never thought possible and they will find within themselves the richness of their capacity to connect, a mind that is beautiful, bold, independent and curious and the power of their own presence and voice.
They will explore and challenge their view of the world and their place in it.
All of this is normal – so normal that pushing against it will be the surest way to unravel your connection with your teen. It will lead to secrecy, arguing, disrespect and feelings of isolation.
You’ll be just another one who ‘doesn’t get it’ and that’s the last thing they need.
What they need more than anything is the connection with you, even if they don’t let you know it. They need your wisdom, your guidance and your loving, open presence when the world disappoints them, which at times, it will.
Here are some ways to strengthen that connection: