Positive Parent-Adolescent Relationship

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Adolescence is a trying time for both child and parent. As children struggle to understand and deal with the physical, cognitive, psychological, and social changes they are experiencing, parents may feel their relationship has been turned upside down. Their child all of a sudden has become less willing to accept their advice, more independent, argumentative, and unwilling to acknowledge that a parent could have even the slightest clue about what they are going through. Given such changes, parents may worry that their adolescent children have come to value their relationship less and that they have lost considerable influence over the direction of their children’s lives. Research suggests otherwise. An examination of a national survey of teenagers in the United States provides evidence that the majority of adolescents respect, admire, and like their parents and enjoy the time they spend together. This evidence is encouraging. Studies in the U.S. and other nations report a link between quality parent-child relationships and several positive outcomes among teenagers

Parent-child relationships grow more complex during adolescence. Children undergo profound developmental changes during these years. For instance:1 · Their physical development progresses at a rapid rate. Changes in height and weight are common. Puberty leads to development of several secondary sexual characteristics. Brain development continues into late adolescence. It is not unusual for adolescents to feel awkward, compare their appearance to that of others, worry they are not developing at the same rate as others, and ask questions regarding sex. · Cognitively, adolescents develop advanced reasoning skills and abstract thinking skills. They become able to think about how they feel and how they are perceived by others. They are much more self-conscious and tend to believe everyone is watching them and is concerned about what they do and think.

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