La vida

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  • Publicado : 12 de octubre de 2010
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Adolescent problems: tips for parenting difficult teens Adolescent problems: parents often question what is normal in adolescent behavior. Tips are provided for coping with problem behaviors and signs are described for abnormal reactions.
Most parents understand that adolescence defines a new era in the evolution of the family. Parents expect occasionalmood swings, defiance of rules as well as the gravitation away from the family toward peers. However, parents grow concerned when certain behaviors seem more intense or frequent than what they see in their friends' children. How to determine what is 'normal' behavior and how to facilitate equilibrium in the household are subjects of this article.An understanding of the purpose of adolescence is necessary for the definition of 'normalcy.' In essence, the teen era is the mirror image of toddlerhood. Developmental tasks require that the toddler use concrete objects to enable the expanding synapses of the brain to form abstract concepts. For instance, withmuch repeated exposure to letters and blocks, a child eventually is able to make sense of the symbols for '3' or 'B.' The frequency of repetitions of the alphabet and counting can rile even the most patient of parents. However, the goal is to facilitate the building of compartments for symbols in the toddler's brain. A child who is denied this exposure for extended periods of time, loses theability to symbolize, and thus, harms the capacity for future learning. Conversely, developmental tasks demand that an adolescent render abstract ideas concrete. This youth wishes to make ideas such as love, politics, money, fashion, etc. as personal to them as possible. Parents are asked to take on a different role. For example, in the toddler years a parent whodesires to encourage new learning brings the outside world to the child. To illustrate, a caterpillar climbing into a cocoon becomes an automatic lesson in science and its purpose for transforming the caterpilar into a butterfly. In adolescence, the parent prepares the child for venturing into theoutside world. For the first time, the youth is encouraged to get a job beyond regular household chores, to bond with friends and a date, and to develop a relationship with money. Some teens fly into this new phase with abandon. They flock to friends, politely (or not) requesting that parents either walk 100 paces behind or sit in a separate row for the purposes of preventing embarassment at thepossibility of association with the adult. Parents of these children find it difficult reigning in the appropriate boundaries. The adolescent in this category sees no reason for curfews or for concerns regarding his/her whereabouts. A mistake that a parent could make for this youth is to approach the enthusiasm withdisdain. Instead, a parent would be wise to provide reasoning that a teen could interpret. Using the metaphor of a bank, the parent can speak in terms of the adolescent's words and equate them with deposits and withdrawals. In other words, the honoring of a verbal commitment can be likened to a deposit toward future privileges. In comparison, a deposit of money in a bank suggests to the institutionthat future check writing to withdraw money from the account is a possibility. However, failure to comply with a previously understood rule can be likened to a witdrawal. Too many withdrawals and suddenly the account is overdrawn. An overdrawn account in this case means that others (peers, parents and teachers) can no longer rely on the adolescent's verbal agreement, since trust in the youth has...
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