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A rather delicate period

Having adolescence as a growing up phase in mind, almost anybody will agree that this represents one of the most sensitive parts of a child's life. It is then that a number of both physical and mental changes takes place and it is the period characterized by the occurrence of quite a lot of internal conflicts. All due to the nature of the transition period, i.e. leaving the realm of a child, and stepping into the realm of an almost-adult. Taking all of the aforementioned into consideration, it is no wonder that it is this period that children find most unpredictable and thus, a bit more difficult to cope with. However, the child is not the only one who is affected by this transition period. Parents quite often find themselves in pretty awkward and even unpleasant situations, for they also need to cope with the sudden mood changes of their child/children, as well as those behavioral one in nature.

Adolescence as such is, roughly, characterized by three phases of development and these phases are those through which each and every child must go through on its way to full-fledged adulthood. One important fact to bear in mind is that the age in which a child comes in touch with these phases, as well as their duration, are individual in nature, i.e. they are different in each and every child.

Developmental phases

The stages in question go as following:

Early stage (from 12 to 14) – is characterized by child's initial coping with their individual and person-specific nature. Mood swings, as well as overt sensitivity to everything, are quite common in this initial developmental phase. In addition, more concrete and proficient communication skills get to be developed, thus making actions speak much louder than words in the designated phase. One characteristic that many parents find pretty frightening is that the ties between family members, especially those between the child and his/her parents, become extremely weak. Also, quite common for children in this phase is experimenting with forbidden substances.Middle stage (from 14 to 17) – is the one in which the self-identity slowly begins to become more prominent and emerges to the surface, with the emphasis being put on self-improvement. Physical (i.e. body and outer looks) appearance becomes one of the main focal points of each adolescent's everyday reality. Another focus is on constantly finding new and more interesting friends, thus forming a distinct circle. Regarded as the most prominent characteristic is the beginning of intellectual development.

Late stage (from 17 to 19) – is characterized by the deepening of the individuals self-identity and self-esteem, accompanied by further and more substantial intellectual development, development of communication skills, independence in making important decisions, thoughts on the future and subtle existential questions.

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