TEENS: BECOMING AN ADOLESCENT
• Fragile self in hurried body
– from being at ease in the world of childhood to taking first steps in the world of grown-ups.
• Aspiring autonomy, displaced attachments, and new relationships
– from bonding with family and friends to aspiring and falling for new idealized self, and seeking new relationships beyond the familiar world.
• Powers of formal thinking
— from understanding that others are different and the world more complex than it appears at first sight to envisioning how things should be, ideally.
• Quest for ideals
– From pragmatism to utopia!
||What to expect?
Although today’s children are often growing older at a younger age, the big leap usually occurs around age 12. That is when children’s ways of thinking shift from concrete-operational to formal analytical. Teens have the brainpower of an Einstein combined with the rhetorical abilities of great persuaders, driven by a hesitant self in a hurried body. While this will not always make for reason to prevail, it does make for a burgeoning imagination, creative expression, and potential for achievement. Moving from concrete to formal thinking, and driven by a sense of urgency, teens may want it all, right here, right now! Not unlike terrible twos, they [teens] are craving to break loose, to look at the other side of the fence, and to take a walk on “the wild side”. They too fight for the emergence of their own will, while seeking love from trusted ones. Teenagers are on a quest to answer satisfactorily and happily the question "Who am I?" They will seek the leadership of chosen others, and gradually develop a set of ideals, socially congruent and desirable in the case of successful integration. Furthermore, in the process of growing up they will acquire a sense of self worth and establish clear sexual identities.