Adolescence experiences various physical changes in their body and these results to change in behavior. Social-emotional development which involves interacting positively with an individual or group should be highly encouraged when dealing with this sensitive group. It involves sharing of ideas and improving ones self-esteem through activities like socializing, games and community work.
As an adolescent is experiencing changes with his/her body, they become aggressive, rebellious and have low self esteem and needs constant supervision when this changes are noticed.
Many do not like the changes that they are experiencing and they struggle to get appreciated making them to ape what they see on TV like modeling where they starve themselves in order to be slim and skinny, behave in a certain manner or join certain groups. Such decisions anger their parents and they cut off communication with them which leads to bad choices and unhealthy social lifestyles among their teenage adolescent children.
In this discussion we take a critical look at the stages that an adolescent goes through and the challenges they face at each stage. We also focus on the important role that teachers and parents play when they are dealing with adolescents (Frank & Timothy 2009).
Early adolescence usually occurs at the age of 12-14 years. In boys, they grow pubic hair, voice deepens and become masculine. In girls, they grow pubic hair, breast and start menstruating. These changes make the adolescent feel worried and shy about their body fear what people say about them.
The challenges they face include peer pressure by taking alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and wanting to have sex so that they feel accepted by others. Many especially ladies are more concerned about their physical looks like body shape and will want to change their mode of dressing.
The adolescent becomes moody, depressed leading to poor grades. Their self esteem is a bit low but they are able to express their feeling mainly to their peers and are able to choose right from wrong (Mary. 2007).
Middle adolescence occurs during the ages of 15-17 years. They experience physical, mental and sexual changes. In boys, they become more masculine with deeper voices. Most girls are more physically mature at this stage. The social and emotional changes they will face include increased interest in the opposite sex.
Most will have good relationship with their teachers and parents and are able to have mature discussions. They focus on the future in terms of education and are able to decide which careers to choose once they are through with high school. However, at this stage they bow to pressure especially by imitating what they see on TV like being skinny, fashion clothing, walking styles and what to eat.
Both parties will also have an urge in indulging in immoral acts like sex, alcohol and drugs. If not properly advised, the adolescent looses direction in life and can even commit suicide as a result of frustrations in life. Parents are encouraged to show interest in their children’s school ad extracurricular activities and know the type of friend that they associate with (Frank & Timothy 2009).
Late adolescent occurs between the ages of 15-18 years. At this stage, many adolescents consider themselves as young adults and carry themselves in a mature way. Their bodies under go changes physically and their emotions become more sensitive.
They become ambitious in their doings, more focused on their school work and are able to decide their careers. They also develop the interest of having mature relationships with the opposite sex, whom they can share with, comfort each other in times of problems. As a result, they develop mature relationships with people of the opposite sex to fulfill this urge (Frank & Timothy 2009).
During their late stages in adolescent, their self esteem improves and they carry themselves in a respectable manner and are capable of making their own decisions. They participate in extra curricular activities in the community like joining environmental groups, church groups and drama clubs.
Through such activities, they are able to set their own goals and manage their own time. It is notably however, if not guided properly at this stage, an adolescent can easily loose focus in life. Any failure in his or her life affects them tremendously.
Their emotions are so sensitive at this stage and they experience problems in understanding and controlling themselves. For instance, if they fail in their examinations, they feel frustrated. Some will even curse and threaten to discontinue with their education.
Peer pressure to have sex, take drugs, alcohol and join groups like cults and gangs is also so strong and tempting. Some will fall into the temptation and consequently face the repercussions; girls will get unwanted pregnancies whereas boys will end up jailed for crimes committed or even killed in the process.
Realization of their mess leads to depression and hopelessness which is usually too late to amend. As they approach 18 years, they consider themselves adults and feel they have the right make their own independent decision without consulting their parents.
They want to start making their own money by whichever means possible and they’ll be lured to prostitution, join gangs in order to buy what they desire or see their peers have. Parents and educators are highly encouraged to guide and advice their young adults at this stage. Getting help from counselors when the situation is out of hand is recommended (Mary. 2007).
Teachers and educators spend more time with the adolescent and they are able to notice the changes that are taking place by monitoring their behavior, school results, participation in extracurricular activities and their friends. In order to increase their self esteem a teacher should let the adolescents express themselves freely, help them in decision making and allow them to ask questions they cannot ask their parents.
In the US, teachers use the curriculum to educate the teens on sex related issues and the physical and emotional changes experienced during this period. This helps them appreciate and understand it is a normal thing that every adult had to experience. During such lessons the tutor should come up with creative methods to make them interact freely like organizing debates and sporting activities where they compete and interact with each other.
The teachers also need to hold some separate lesson between boys and girls where they ask questions without feeling shy. If the teacher notices indecent behavior, they should discuss with the parents immediately and come up with proper solutions before it gets worse. If the situation is out of hand, professional counseling is encouraged (Mary. 2007).
Teachers are seen as role models and when they fail to guide the adolescent or they behave in an appropriate manner, the adolescent end up loosing direction. Teens like to show off among their peers and during this stage is when they discover their talents.
Teachers then should use this as a platform to increase their self esteem in a positive way. The common talents include singing, acting, debating, sports and writing. In order to develop in this area, the institutions are required to set aside time for such activities like twice or thrice a week (Frank & Timothy 2009).
In conclusion, change in life is inevitable and every individual has to undergo it in one way or the other. Humans must undergo changes to become adults; from childhood to adolescent then to adulthood is a must process to undergo.
Experiencing the physical and emotional changes can prove to be a hard task but with advice and guidance, the adolescence will mature in the right direction and with clear set goals. The community is encouraged to monitor the behavior of the young adults .An adolescent is also encouraged to talk freely and indulged in positive activities and be focused. Community developers and teachers are usually advised to assist the adolescent in controlling their emotions and how to interact with others as they face the different stages of adolescence.
Adolescents need to be guided in the right direction so that they can make healthy decisions in life. They need advice on all major areas and the teachers are one group of people that the adolescents rely on when making major decisions.