Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Understanding your adolescent

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TWC News: Understanding your adolescent
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Does your adolescent have a bit of a teen attitude? According to some experts, parents shouldn't take it personally. It has more to do with the teen and less with you.

"For a lot of adolescents, they are really emerging through a period where they are trying to be more independent and to start to look inward and to really be concerned more about finding their own way to create their own identity," pediatrician Dr. Manny Cirenza said.

Hormones may play a part in the moodiness, but according to Dr. Cirenza, it's less about testosterone and more about peer pressure they are under, which includes smoking, drinking and doing drugs.

"These adolescents are really going through a tremendous amount of upheaval,” Dr. Cirenza said. “It is really more of a psycho-developmental stage and it coincides with hormone surges."

Since teens are dealing with so many issues, they often turn toward peers and away from parents, appearing more self-centered. It can be good to use this time as an opportunity to teach them how to communicate.

"They should be understanding that when they are cutting you off as a parent, they are not really developing their own levels of communication that are going to be important for them in their work, and especially in their personal relationships later in life," Dr. Cirenza said.

Since teens are too old for time out, it can be effective to shut their world down, taking away iPads, cell phones and video games.

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