The Experiences of Teenagers
Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager? I think many of us tend to remember the teenage years as being a difficult or awkward time. It was difficult because we didn’t exactly know who we were, other than we weren’t sure if we wanted to be who our parents wanted us to be.
However, we wanted to know who we were. We wanted to know what we were capable of achieving. Knowing that we belonged somewhere was important.
Seeking the refuge of our friends and music perhaps saved us from feeling that we weren’t “good enough.” We may have been able to express things to our friends that we would never dream of telling our parents. Music may have helped us to feel and express things that words wouldn’t allow.
Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Child?
For parents, it can be hard to know how to connect with this teenager who responds to your child’s name. Yet, they no longer seem like your child. This person standing in front of you is just a few years away from adulthood and you KNOW there is no way you can be that old!
But on a serious note, it can be hard for some parents to make the mental and emotional transition necessary for relating to an almost-an-adult child. There can be a desire to deny that the parent-child relationship needs to evolve and shift as their child becomes more independent. It can be hard to recognize that your child doesn’t need you as much as you wish they did.
While for other parents, their teenager’s behaviors may drive them to the point where they don’t even want to know their child. Their teen may be rebelling in potentially dangerous ways. The teen may be using drugs or engaging in dangerous sexual activity. They may be skipping school or getting in trouble around town.
The Teenage Years: A Time of Rebellion
That said, adolescence is a time for some rebellion. Teenagers are needing to push against boundaries in order to test them. It’s natural and normal for teenagers and their parents to not see eye-to-eye on some things.
Teenagers Need to Find Personal Identity
Part of this is because this is the time for teenagers to get greater clarity as to who they are. They need to see different perspectives and try on different personas. It’s important to find belonging in peer and social groups. (Note the emphasis here should be on the quality of such interactions, rather than the quantity.)
A Need to Continue Developing Life Skills
As soon-to-be adults, it’s also important that teens have the skills they need in order to function as adults. Teenagers need to know how to effectively resolve interpersonal challenges. Much like with younger children and tweens, they need to know how to manage their emotions and practice self-control so that they accomplish what they need to accomplish in life.
The Importance of Music for Teenagers
Music can play a role in helping teenagers explore their identity and to find a means for personal expression. In this video, I talk more about how music can be helpful for teenagers who are struggling with identity or life skills.
Curious to Know More?
Contact me if you think your teenager could benefit from some outside support in these areas. I’m happy to talk with you more about your teen’s situation.