As children develop mentally, the ability to identify abstract concepts becomes clear. Children under the age of 12 live in a concrete world. They think in terms of black and white, yes and no, up and down. By age 13, you will start to notice a big change in the way your child thinks.
Your teenager will now start to think more abstractly. They are able to distinguish the difference between concrete concepts and idealism (what if). Not all kids are exactly the same in the way they think and develop. There are variables. As a rule during the teen years, they are attempting to find their own identity and what is important to them. When teens go through this phase, they usually expect a clear understanding of their own identity. However, this phase is a struggle for almost all kids! With a secure family environment, this is an easier transition.
Eric Erickson, the famous psychologist, researched phases of development in humans. He discovered the popular foundation of many psychology classes. It is called “eight stages of man” and is used as a profile of development. Erickson states that each stage of development presents a challenge. In order to move to the next phase of development, there is a bit of a self-struggle that must be resolved.
Teenagers struggle to find themselves and where they stand. Peer pressure is a natural progression toward independence. When teens have resolved the issues of peer pressure, and are able to emotionally and mentally detach when they choose, they have succeeded in their search for individuality.
Here are some examples that your teenager has a clear identity of him or herself:
Feels that everyone has something worthwhile to offer, rather than feeling that other people are better or worse
Able to face crises in their lives and resolve them to their own satisfaction
Able to find life a comfortable and clear place, instead of finding life to be confusing and painful much of the time
Enjoys giving and receiving compliments
Gains insight and resolution as they overcome struggles
Without resolution, according to Erickson, we remain in the stage that has not been resolved.
Families who grow together, stay together.