Child Wellness Wednesday: Understanding your adolescent

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Marcie Fraser | Categories:
Does your adolescent have a bit of a teen attitude? According to some experts, parents shouldn't take it personally. It has more to do with the teen and less with you. Pediatrician Dr. Manny Cirenza said, "For a lot of adolescents, they are really emerging through a period where they are trying to be more independent and to start to look inward and to really be concerned more about finding their own way to create the own identity." Hormones may play a part in the moodiness, but according to Dr. Cirenza, it's less about testosterone and more about peer pressure they are under, which includes smoking, drinking and doing drugs. Dr. Cirenza said, "These adolescents are really going through a tremendous amount of upheaval. It is really more of a psycho-developmental stage and it coincides with hormone surges." Because teens are dealing with so many issues, they often turn toward peers and away from parents, appearing more self-centered. use this time as an opportunity to teach them how to communicate. Dr. Cirenza said, "They should be understanding that when they are cutting you off as a parent, they are not really developing their own levels of communication that are going to be important for them in their work, and especially in their personal relationships later in life." As what happens when your teen is too big for a time out, In fact, they may sometimes be bigger than you. It's time to shut their world down, taking away iPads, cell phones, videos games - they are all off limits. Dr. Cirenza said, "Let's face it, at the end of the day, that is your cell phone they are using, that is your car they are driving, and it is really your home they are living under, so everything that is in there is basically being used at your privilege, and I think you can take those things away from them, I don't think you should be afraid to do that."
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