Social Norms in Adolescence


What are the social norms in the Adolescents?

Natasha Smith, MA, LCPC – Online Counselor and Therapist

As the parent, have you ever found yourself struggling with managing your young teen’s behaviors and attitudes?  What you are about to explore reflects the distinct changes that many teens encounter as they transition from childhood to adulthood. This topic addresses specifically what to look for in the young teen and what we should understand to better adjust to the teen’s behaviors.

This article will address the normal range of the teen’s behaviors and how they differ over a period of time or as one ages.  The young adolescent responds to three main stages, each displaying their own degree of mood swings and parental transaction.

The concepts below discuss the normal attributes  of the adolescents at different developmental stages that are designed to help parents better relate to a young person’s perspective reflecting events. 

Stage 1 (Early Adolescent)

The young adolescent, ranging between the years of 11 and 14, are undergoing a broader range of emotions that move from an extreme elation to depression within seconds, without apparent predisposing factors.  During this period, the teen may have temperaments regarding how they relate to parental authority and try to assert themselves in a way that challenge the parent’s boundaries.  They normally react and refuse the views and opinions of parents.  Peer influence at this stage probably override parental advice. The greatest difficulties that this therapist has seen with the young teen has been with their level of esteem and confidence that pushes them to respond the way that they do.  Sometimes their abrupt moodiness may result from anxiety and frustration regarding their role in the parental relationship- and often if not resolved, may extend to other areas of their lives. 

Stage 2 (Middle Adolescents)

Healthy ParentingBy the time, the teen reaches “Middle Adolescents”, they are now internalizing the values and perceptions of their friends to their own.  Those values and opinions are even more significant than those by their parents. During the teen years, their need for privacy is big, as they will not expose all the details of their intimate or social encounters to their parents.  They will distant in a heartbeat to only convey further a need to embark on their own and learn what they need in order to grow up internally.  And from this therapist’s experience with the teens, what they do not learn from the parents, they will fact learn from the external world.  They reveal newer information and experience from their peers daily and this often sets the tone for what they respond to later on in adult development. What the adolescence need sometime is having someone who can really hear them and guide them through the process of self-disclosure.

Stage 3 (Late Adolescents)

The teen begins to slowly cross over into early adulthood whereas the degree of their peer experiences alter and they begin to rebuild their relationship with the parents.  It is that moment of reflecting on meaning in their peer group and realizing the value of family involvement.  Each stage is a building block for the adolescent and they are learning to reach make greater decisions about their relationships as they age. 

Meet Natasha Smith, MA, LCPC here for further support

Leave a Reply