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Growing and Changing

9:00am, 17 September 2012

Growing and Changing

The adolescent brain is undergoing major reconstruction. The most obvious changes affect the body, but what we can't see as clearly are the changes in the way young people think and process information. They will have a new outlook, which usually includes a fiercely defended need for independence and self-determination.

Their attempts to create physical or emotional private space for themselves won't always be skilful or polite. You could feel hurt or angry - or instead you could look to what's happening underneath. It's more appropriate now that discussions around behaviour and consequences contain more dialogue than monologue. Asking them to 'be the expert' by teaching you something they know, or seeking their unique opinion on an issue will also help meet their need for separateness and a sense of self. Love is meeting needs, and as needs change then so should our parenting strategies.

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