“Today’s young people, our children, belong to the most promising generation in the history of the world. They stand at the summit of the ages. They also stand at the crossroads of two great paths. It’s appropriate for your teen to want to make her own decisions now, and to think for herself. And yet teens are still developing, and have widely varying levels of maturity. It can be a scary time for parents, especially those who don’t yet trust their teen’s judgment.”
This is a time of changes for how teenagers think, feel, and interact with others, and how their bodies grow. Most girls will be physically mature by now, and most will have completed puberty. Boys might still be maturing physically during this time. Your teen might have concerns about her body size, shape, or weight. Eating disorders also can be common, especially among girls. During this time, your teen is developing his unique personality and opinions. Relationships with friends are still important, yet your teen will have other interests as he develops a more clear sense of who he is. This is also an important time to prepare for more independence and responsibility; many teenagers start working, and many will be leaving home soon after high school.
Here is some information on how teens develop:
Children in this age group might:
- Have more interest in the opposite sex.
- Go through less conflict with parents.
- Show more independence from parents.
- Have a deeper capacity for caring and sharing and for developing more intimate relationships.
- Spend less time with parents and more time with friends.
- Feel a lot of sadness or depression, which can lead to poor grades at school, alcohol or drug use, unsafe sex, and other problems.