adolescence is a very delicate period in one's life. It arouses various internal conflicts, as an adolescent is neither a child and nor an adult yet. It is a very challenging period for the parents too, as parenting teenagers involves coping with their moods and behavioral changes. There are basically three stages which every child goes through, although the ages at which the child experiences these and the duration of each stage varies. Here are the three stages of adolescent development.
Early Stage (12-14 years)
This is the first among the adolescent development stages. It is usually experienced between the years 12 and 14. These are the characteristics displayed by them during the early stage.
In this stage, the teens are still coming to terms with whom they are. They experience moodiness and are often irritable. They are still developing their communication skills, so they express themselves better by actions rather than by words. During early adolescence, the girls outperform boys and develop skills faster. There is a tendency to show off one's skills and qualities. Family ties are weak and parents are no longer looked up to like before. There is more trust in the friendships forged outside home. Sense of dressing and interests depend upon that of the friends. Friendships are mostly among the same sex. Sometimes, the teen may display childish behavior.
Teens like to experiment with their bodies and thus resort to masturbation. Teens are still discovering their sexuality and may worry whether they are sexually normal or not. Teens may experiment with forbidden substances, such as cigarettes or alcohol.
Middle Stage (14-17 years)
This is experienced by adolescents between the years 14 and 17. Here are a few characteristics displayed by them during the middle stage.
There is a somewhat developed sense of self-identity. The focus shifts on self-improvement. Teens lay great emphasis on the body and the outer appearance. The changes in the body due to puberty may make them self-conscious of their bodies. Sometimes, the teen might feel very inferior to others too. Relationship with the parents becomes stressful. The teen finds his parents interfering and thus, may emotionally withdraw from them. The teen may feel that he has lost the support of his parents and this might make him feel sad and lonely. Focus of the teen is on making new friends. The teen identifies with his peer group. Intellectual development starts taking place. The teen starts analyzing his inner self. The teen has a heightened sexual energy and may experience love and passion for the first time. The teen forms relationships with the opposite sex and may enter and exit relationships very quickly. The teen is still discovering his sexuality, considers both homosexuality and heterosexuality. Sex education at this stage, thus, is very essential. A sense of morality and ethics develops in a teenager.
The teen selects his role models and even sets goals for himself.
Late Stage (17-19 years)
This stage is experienced between the years 17 and 19. Here are the characteristics displayed by adolescents.
The sense of self-identity deepens and the teen develops a sense of self-esteem. Intellectual development progresses. Communication skills are developed and the teen is able to express himself well. Stability in emotions and interests is exhibited. The teen starts taking his relationships with the opposite sex seriously. The teen is able to take independent decisions and starts relying on himself rather than his parents or friends. The teen loses the typical childhood trait of stubbornness and is able to compromise on various issues. The teen starts thinking about the future for the first time. The teen starts questioning his existence - about what role he is going to play in the world. He identifies his sexual preferences and is able to express love and concern for others. The teen starts accepting the social...