Home Family & SocietyFamily Dynamics Understanding and Dealing With Teenage Angst

Understanding and Dealing With Teenage Angst

written by Dr. Eva Bell August 7, 2018
Understanding and Dealing With Teenage Angst

By far, the teenage years are the most turbulent period in the life of an individual. Most of us wish we could blot out the memory of those awkward years; of asocial and sometimes cantankerous behaviour, or of the hurt and bewilderment caused to our parents.

The transition period, when one is neither a child nor a fully grown adult, can be frightening to the teenager and the people closest to him. Overnight, parents, teachers and those in authority, are looked upon as enemies. Conversations become monosyllabic. Closed doors eloquently demand privacy. Weird dressing becomes fashionable. Parents are bewildered by this stranger in their midst.

Yet there is consolation that teenage behaviour is merely a passing phase, a milestone on the road to maturity. A better understanding of what it involves will save parents a lot of heartache. It should not be confused with Juvenile Delinquency, which is criminal or antisocial activity committed by young people. Such teenagers probably suffer from some personality disorder, or are growing up in a pathological family atmosphere.

Teenagers demand a measure of freedom, yet want the security that a home provides.

They want to be treated like adults, even though they have not yet developed skills in basic human relations. Often, they end up angry with themselves and with those who expose their naiveté. “Nobody listens to me and nobody cares,” is the feeling that plays on their minds and makes them reclusive. Sometimes they seek security in peer groups and identify with the members in dress and behaviour.

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