Parenting Adolescents ABOUT JEAN
Statement of Beliefs about Adolescence
I think site users are entitled to know my beliefs about adolescence because these inform my responses to the questions people send in.
I believe adolescence is a 'normal developmental crisis.' The physiological changes going on in the adolescent body, including significant brain growth and hormonal changes, in themselves present a developmental challenge.
Add in the changes in the social environment--the sudden importance of peers, the increased demands for attention and organization at school, the expectation of increased independence (especially in our society), along with contradictory expectations of continued dependency--and you have the makings of a crisis.
But it's a good crisis, a necessary crisis, one that must be respected by parents and offers wonder and enjoyment as well as taxing one's patience and understanding.
It's a developmental crisis for parents, too, by the way--especially with the first child. Neither you nor your child has been here before, and neither one of you quite knows what to do with the other. That's typical. Anxiety-provoking, but typical.
If you're one of the lucky parents who has a child who sails through this developmental phase, count your blessings. But if you fall more in the middle of the bell-shaped curve where most of us live, you'll find yourself stretched to the max by some of your teens' and preteens' antics. And that's when this site can be a real help.
Jean Walbridge is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois. She has her MSW degree from Loyola University, Chicago, as well as a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from Northwestern University in Evanston. Her undergraduate work was completed at San Francisco State College and at the College of the University of Chicago, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.Jean is: