Emotional changes in teens
All of us have moments of happiness, sadness, anger, anxiety and a host of other feelings. However, ‘teenage’ comes with big emotional and social changes. There are changes in the way you interact with the family, other adults, friends and peers.
Every youngster’s social and emotional development is different. It is shaped by one’s unique combination of genes, brain development, environment, experiences with the family and friends and also community and culture. Social and emotional changes show that you are forming an independent identity and learning to be an adult.
During puberty, since your body undergoes many changes you may feel weird about it. Maybe, you are self-conscious and worried if you are normal. You might become overly sensitive about your physical appearance.
A small pimple on your face may seem like a major disaster and being rejected by a boy or girl may feel like the end of the world. You might feel extra-sensitive to criticism, teasing or just about anything. Little things set you off and you feel nobody likes or understands you, you feel irritated easily, lose your cool or feel depressed.
You are overwhelmed by your feelings and may not be able think logically.
Since you are not completely an adult and not a kid anymore, you may be confused about where you belong and what stance you should take. On the one hand, you feel emotions like fear, insecurity and helplessness as a kid, while on the other, you feel that you shouldn’t because you are grown up!
You can’t stop wondering about the new and unfamiliar aspects of life such as job, livelihood, love and marriage. When you reflect on these issues, you may feel uncertain about your future.
This uncertainty becomes more evident when the expectations of people close to you also change. You may be expected to take on greater responsibilities than you did as a child.
Eventually you will grow into your new roles and become more certain about yourself. This process, however, will take its own time, depending on how you respond to this situation.
Since you are somewhere in between as a teenager, you may feel stuck between how you were as a child and how you wish to be as an adult. For example, the child in you might want to go to the movies with parents, while the adult may want to go to the movies with friends.
You feel like you need to be independent, make your own decisions and control your own life. You may question rules and practices and start to form your own opinions. In other words, you want to be you and this can lead to conflicts with parents, teachers, friends, or just about anyone. As a result you may feel you are in conflict and look for clarity. Of course, eventually it also leads to you becoming a unique and grown-up person.
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Gratian Vas is a former teacher, headmaster, principal and resource person for educational institutions. In a career spanning 50 years, he has written over 150 educational and general books for young readers.