Mom, It's Not A Phase!

The dreaded teenage years can be a handful for both mother and child. Although your child may be excited to become a teenager, excitement quickly vanishes as the struggles of teenage problems begin. Your child is about to start going through a plethora of changes and may not cope with the most reasoned actions. Major brain and growth spurts occur, sexual maturity develops, and body image concerns begin. Teenage years mean a change from exercising for play to exercising to become physically fit. Gym memberships have been lowering their minimum age to cope with the demand and physical education classes in middle and high school change from kickball and Frisbee to push ups and mile runs.

 

The reason it may be hard to cope is because not only are hormonal changes occurring, but also the psychosocial development issue of identity versus role confusion raises the question of “who am I?” This means as the mother, you have to deal with a lot of your child’s “phases”. Their entire existence revolves around a combination of being an individual while still being socially acceptable. It’s a strange combination that leads to things like listening to heavy metal and wearing copious amounts of eyeliner (speaking from experience here).

 

This is a time for personal development. Where does play fit in? Play changes from your usual playtime to social play. Play is almost entirely child-directed. Clubs, sports, and after-school activities not only give your teenager an outlet for their interests, but also can help keep them from getting into trouble.. It is important to remember that adolescents are defined through risk taking. Teenagers are supposed to take risks to find their identity; play via social engagement is a fantastic way to allow this in a safer environment.