The following is the fourth post in a series that focuses on the emotional connection that exists between parents and children who are at different stages of development. The adolescent years are reminiscent of the infant years for many parents, since they are characterized by turbulent moods, increased sensitivity, and the stress that arises from the conflicting demands of the need for independence and the need for reliance. There is a difference between teenagers and adults in that adolescents are nearly fully formed, with more responsibilities and higher expectations. Children who are older tend to have more concerns and more explosive outbursts when they lose their ability to be persistent.
The process of growth is still in progress.
The majority of parents have the expectation that their children will be completely capable of managing their emotions by the time they reach their teenage years. However, this is not always the case because of hormonal changes, the pressures that come from school and home, and the fact that the mind is not yet fully developed, particularly in areas such as judgment, reasoning, and problem-solving. That portion of the brain, known as the pre-frontal cortex, does not fully develop until somewhere around the age of 25 at the earliest.
When it comes to this time, I will just offer one thing for people to do in order to assist progress; yet, it is a significant factor: valuing the emotional side of adolescence. The problem is often seen to be sentiments rather than a single object to value. For instance, when parents insist that education takes precedence over everything else and require that sentiments not interfere with their performance, children often reject this pressure. If they do not, they either acquire extreme levels of hysteria as they seek to comply with the demands of their parents.
There are four aspects of adolescence that are neglected.
On the other hand, according to what Daniel Siegel states in his book Brainstorm, “Adolescence is not a period of time during which one is considered to be “loopy” or “immature.” During this period, it is essential to cultivate emotional depth, social interaction, and creative thinking. Recognizing the reasons behind the intensity of children’s emotions is a significant component of appreciating their sentiments. In his article, Seigel discusses four aspects of adolescence that are sometimes overlooked by parents who are primarily concerned with the potentially negative effects of their thoughts about their children:
The emotional and cognitive regions of children’s brains collide, which results in the development of a phenomenon known as emotional spark. This not only gives them the opportunity to live life to the fullest, with passion and function, but it also has the potential to cause children to become irritable or emotionally oversensitive. The transition that occurs throughout adolescence, away from the influence of parents and toward the influence of peers, is what gives rise to social engagement. Parents are generally concerned about this because they see the potential for peer pressure.
Engaging in social activities, on the other hand, is not without its risks; it helps young people develop the kind of deep and meaningful connections that are necessary for success in the workplace, in marriage, and in every other aspect of life. In addition, teenagers who are actively involved in their communities have a significant capacity to care about the problems that exist in the world, ranging from the plight of strangers to the future of the planet. Seeking out new experiences might be seen as undesirable by both the mother and the father. It is the desire to have new experiences and the frustration with those that have already been had.
As a result, teenagers will be more likely to engage in risky activities that are damaging to their health or to seek stimulation via the use of medicines and other risky behaviors. On the other hand, it unquestionably gives them the courage they need to leave their lives behind and confront the outside world. Ingenious and exploratory work. Teenagers, in contrast to adults, are more receptive to novel ideas, which may serve as a source of inspiration for advancements in the fields of technology, craftsmanship, and business. The adverse feature of this situation is that it may lead to disagreements with the parents and other authorities, and it may also be upsetting for teenagers since they may reject the past without having anything fresh to confront them with.
Two questions that are thought-provoking
Siegel urges parents to reflect, not just on themselves but also on the culture in which they live, with a particular emphasis on the actions of adolescents that cause us a great deal of distress. Imagine for a moment if our society acknowledged the power that children possess rather than always striving to force them to conform to the expectations of adults. What would happen if adults carried out their lives in line with these “adolescent” ways of being, with an increased amount of creativity, social interaction, novelty, and emotional spark? There is a possibility that adult brains might reach their full capacity for learning and growth throughout their whole lives.
Putting into action the processes of emotional attachment
In this particular situation, the most effective method for valuing the emotional lives of teenagers is discussed. Consider the scenario in which a young woman returns home from high school with a gloomy expression on her face and declares, “I do not have any friends.” The following are some examples of common answers from either a mother or a father:
Do not be so silly; you could have a large number of friends and acquaintances. This may be the case, yet there is neither comprehension nor empathy present in this situation; rather, there is only a disregard for the feeling. “Since you are the one in charge, it is your fault.” It is possible that this is the case; nevertheless, it will not be of any benefit to the child in any way, shape, or form since there is no link between the mother and the child that may alleviate the pain that is caused by the fact that this statement is true. It is not a problem, honey; you will have friends at some point in the future. It is possible that this is the case; nevertheless, it does not provide any assistance for the feeling that the child is experiencing at this very moment.
Alternatively, what are some things that the mother or father may say? It is possible for a parent to talk to their child in a soft and sympathetic manner and say something like, “Oh my dear, you sound so miserable.” It was a really challenging day for you. Realizing that you do not have any friends or acquaintances is an extremely terrible experience. This remark has the potential to disrupt a genuine conversation and lead to a more profound connection. If the lady’s mother and father demonstrated this level of empathy, she could shed a tear. That is not a negative aspect. The only thing that she is crying over is the fact that she or he wants her mother and father to pay attention to the situation rather than attempting to resolve it.
A mature superpower
Michael Thompson, a colleague of mine, often visits high schools and middle schools to speak with groups of students from those institutions. (I would find it to be incredibly terrifying since he is more courageous than I am.) In most cases, he would ask them, “What are some ways that adults can assist you with social issues or other challenges that you are facing?” In every single instance, the academics yell out, “Nothing! They must stay out of it at all costs! They are the only ones who make problems worse. On the other hand, if he asks the same question from a different perspective, he will get a different collection of responses. “What is the most significant thing that an adult has ever done for you that has been beneficial to you in your life?” he asks them. Following a brief break, the students begin to describe instances in which an adult participated in listening to them. However, listening is more important than providing advice, directing, or correcting in any way.
The adolescent years are a time of incredible mental and emotional growth, despite the fact that they may also be considered a turbulent period of life. It may be difficult for children to properly manage their potentially dangerous emotions; nevertheless, if they are able to do so, they will be able to face the wider world with a spirit of creativity and strength. As a result of their interactions with their peers and the world around them, they have a profound concern for social concerns and summary norms that correspond to facts and fairness. Despite the fact that they love the fresh new, they may find themselves in disagreement with their mother and father, who represent the traditional methodologies. However, when parents are honest with their children, they will be able to learn from their adolescents and improve their emotional spark, creativity, novelty seeking, and social engagement, all of which they may have neglected due to the responsibilities of being a parent and maturing into adults.