Peculiarities of child psychology - tips for parents


Adolescence is a time of crises and discoveries that accompany the formation of personality. It is not for nothing that adolescence has become the most discussed period in psychological literature. The child finds himself in a new and completely uncertain situation: childhood is over, but the possibilities of adult life are not yet available. The crisis of adolescence is a bright but responsible time, one of the first turning points in life. And although teenagers strive for independence, they need the attention and support of their parents.

The psychology of a teenager has a fairly typical, but at the same time varied picture. Pubertal children think differently than adults: they have difficulty with self-control, are prone to taking unnecessary risks, and often misinterpret the attitudes of others. It would seem that just recently this was a sweet child, but now he has suddenly stopped making contact, constantly bickers, behaves withdrawn or even aggressively! Of course, such changes cause anxiety and irritation among parents.

To help a child safely go through the path of becoming his own “I,” the tactics of behavior with him must be very delicate. Thanks to modern advances in psychology and medicine, we have been able to “look” inside the teenage brain and see more clearly what the characteristics of the teenage psyche are. So what did we find?

Adolescence has rather blurred boundaries, but usually it is the age range from 12 to 17 years. Conventionally, younger adolescence is distinguished - 12-14 years old - and older - 15-17 years old. Neurobiological processes that occur during adolescence become a key behavioral factor.

One of the most interesting features of the teenage brain is the ability to change connections between different parts of the brain in response to events that happen in life. On the one hand, this contributes to a huge leap in the development of thinking and sensitivity. At the same time, constant change in structure leads to emotional instability and risky behavior.

Modern research tells us that problem behavior in adolescents arises from unbalanced functioning of different brain systems. We are talking mainly about two structures:

  1. The limbic system is responsible for emotions, sleep and memory. She becomes highly active during puberty.
  2. The prefrontal cortex is a part of the cerebral cortex that controls thinking, attention, and behavioral control. In adolescence, this structure is imperfect, does not function at full strength and reaches final maturity only by the age of twenty.

It turns out that young people experience a “gap” between emotions and common sense. Underdevelopment of the prefrontal region during adolescence explains the emergence of the main behavioral problems of difficult ages. This is not a sign of mental problems. Young people are not always able to correctly analyze a situation simply because important areas of their nervous system are not yet working as they should.

Features of the psychology of a 12–13 year old teenager

It all starts at about 12 years old. The young man is freed from childhood illusions. Critical thinking and hormones gradually destroy the naive perception of reality. The teenager loses the feeling of security, the belief that “behind your parents is like behind a stone wall.” The wall suddenly turns out to be made of sand and collapses.

And teenage psychology forces you to frantically search for your own identity. Here you need the help of your relatives. They must find the “good” self. And it’s easy for a teenager to “fall into a bad identity,” because a teenager’s attachments and dependencies form incredibly quickly.

Psychological characteristics of adolescents - fundamental changes in everything

At the age of 12–17, a person actively develops: the skeleton grows, the vocal cords change, and sex hormones begin to be released.

The main changes occur in the brain. This is the root of the problem, the reason why teenagers are so unstable. The evolutionarily “newer” part of the cerebral cortex, responsible for critical thinking, the ability to plan, and act thoughtfully, “matures” later than the limbic system, which regulates the emotional sphere. This ancient part of the human brain is formed earlier. That is why in the behavior of a teenager, impulses and emotions dominate over reason.

Sex hormones are the main “weapon” of the limbic system to fight the rational part of the brain. Testosterone, the estrogen of teenagers, can completely drown out the voice of reason. Alas, these hormones not only arouse interest in people of the opposite sex, but also cause a desire to attract attention. Testosterone and estrogen are also the culprits of emotional swings, anxiety, and conflict. Well, together with the hormones of pleasure and stress (dopamine, adrenaline), they contribute to the emergence of a bunch of mental problems. It is the excess of hormones that is the main reason why bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other severe mental illnesses begin much more often during adolescence than in other periods of human life.

Important! Puberty is an inevitable phenomenon. There is no point in fighting masturbation and passion for strawberries. But in order for children to understand what is happening, parents must explain about the features of human reproductive organs and the importance of safe sex. This will protect you from unwanted early pregnancy and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases. If it’s difficult to talk, you should at least provide a link to the necessary information. The Internet is replete with it. Psychological problems of adolescence are one of the popular topics of discussion.

Physical development

Teenagers grow an average of 9 centimeters per year. There is rapid growth of the heart muscle (length, width, volume). Blood pressure (usually increased) and heart rate change. All body systems are rapidly changing.

Modern teenagers are characterized by a general weakening. Despite the apparent acceleration, in comparison with teenagers of past decades, modern girls and boys, according to the results of a study by L.V. Mishchenko, are underweight in more than 80% of cases. The overall strength also decreased.

Formation of one's own self

A full-fledged human self is often born in pain. It all starts with finding role models. A teenager does this all the time, comparing his own self with parents, peers, teachers, and idols.

Soon the teenager realizes that he differs little from adults, although he is forced to obey his elders almost meekly. From here arises a conflict, a desire to free oneself from the incomprehensible tutelage of “people like oneself.” The child begins to copy adults - acts, dresses in a similar way, drinks alcohol, tries to talk as equals, argues.

However, the psychology of a teenager does not yet clearly separate his own personality from others, and has little understanding of where the boundaries lie between personalistic identity and the outside world. This is why a teenager acts disrespectfully towards others and violates the rules of the adult world.

The inconsistency of the age of 12–14 also lies in the fact that the opinion of adults, against whom he rebels, is important for the youth. Moreover, parents still remain the main role models for their children. Therefore, it is important for elders to set a good example. If parents are impatient, love to make trouble, judge, and complain, it is not surprising that a teenage child will begin to do the same.

Sexual development

It goes in two directions:

  • awareness of one's own bodily sexuality;
  • searching for a soul mate and love, romanticizing relationships.

S. Buller noted that there is also mental puberty. It can arise long before physical maturation and end after it. In simple terms, this is the desire to be with someone, to complement each other, which, according to the author’s theory, is characteristic of all people. Thus, we can say that this is precisely the direction of romanticism, relationships without sexual overtones: conversations, spending time together.

Gender identification is one of the new developments of age. That is, the formation of sexual orientation and self-perception of a teenager by gender occurs. Gender identification can be biological or psychological. Their discrepancy is fraught with intrapersonal conflict and sexual behavior disorders.

Scientists have noted that the formation of gender identification is more influenced by sociocultural factors than biological ones. That is, the decisive role is played by the patterns and stereotypes cultivated in society, as well as by the conditions of the teenager’s environment.

Communication is the main value

In the company of friends, a teenager truly socializes independently for the first time, occupying a certain place in a youth group, meeting peers of the opposite sex. Often the opinions of friends become very important. If friends drink alcohol, the teenager is ashamed to remain sober. However, the teenager is characterized by strong inconstancy, constantly searching for his own identity. Friends, companies, passions, idols can change often. And this is one of the features of adolescence, the psychology of a teenager.

Personal development

Teenagers are characterized by a sense of adulthood. Their adulthood may have the following character:

  • imitative (the simplest, but dubious way: imitation of appearance);
  • exemplary (the desire to be like a “real woman”, “real man”);
  • social (cooperation with adults, participation in the life of the family, society);
  • intellectual (self-education, additional search for scientific information).

During adolescence, old value orientations are broken down and new guidelines are sought or created.

Self-awareness is formed through egocentrism, which is overcome through knowledge of peers (communication). Initially, egocentrism manifests itself in two ways:

  • feeling like an actor and perceiving the world as a stage;
  • belief in the uniqueness of one's emotions.

The danger of being outcast

It is adolescence that manifests itself with all its force into intolerance and unwillingness to help someone who is very different. If a teenager has problems with appearance, expect trouble. There will definitely be those who will laugh, others will support “for the company.”

Such problems are not uncommon among teenagers. They are an important psychological characteristic of adolescence. Due to rapid hormonal changes in the body, 12-14 year olds often develop skin diseases and excess weight. Boys suffer from uncontrollable erections.

Becoming an outcast is very dangerous for a teenager. Everything can end not only in isolation, depression, neuroses, but even in real tragedy - a suicide attempt.

Remember! Boys' adolescence is more turbulent. They get out of hand more often than girls. Teenage boys are characterized by extreme self-confidence and the desire to contrast their own views with the opinions of others. However, contradictions remain. Individualism and isolation strangely coexist with conformism and dependence on the opinion of “one’s own” group.

Teenage boys more often begin to become very interested in something - they become “nerds”, athletes, musicians. At the same time, the teenager greatly exaggerates his own capabilities. A 12-year-old boy is endowed with the finest psychology. It's easy to break it.


Disadaptation, that is, problems with accepting a new social situation and entering into it, is a normative phenomenon of adolescence. This arises against the background of uneven development of personality spheres. Disadaptation manifests itself:

  • criticism of oneself and others;
  • hypersensitivity;
  • vulnerability;
  • aggressiveness;
  • instability of desires and moods;
  • intrapersonal conflicts (the most popular is “Who am I?”).

A teenager strives to know himself, which results in a craving for peers (clubs of interests, subcultures, multiple acquaintances). That is, a teenager receives information about himself by looking at his peers.

All teenagers are explorers. They study the world, themselves, and other people. Sometimes introspection takes an extreme option and turns into self-examination and self-flagellation.

  • It was experimentally revealed that adolescents who are anxious, insecure, uncommunicative, withdrawn, overly controlling themselves and feeling guilty have problems with adaptation.
  • An average level of adaptation was noted in unstable adolescents with an average level of self-control, prone to dominance and aggression.
  • Successful adaptation is characterized by confident, sociable, non-anxious adolescents with adequate self-esteem and level of self-control.

Sometimes normative maladjustment drags on, and then, as a rule, we are talking about deviant behavior.

Psychology of adolescence: appearance is the main enemy

For 13-14 year olds, appearance often becomes the main measure of everything. Fat people or those who are "wimpy" often become "outsiders" and an object of ridicule.

For girls, cosmetics, hairstyles, perfumes, clothes in general become a real fetish. Often the desire to be like idols, an extremely critical attitude towards one’s own appearance causes eating disorders and fear of getting fat. Therefore, it is important to instill in your children in a timely manner (while they are listening) the correct attitude towards food. Then for children food will become a source of energy and pleasure.

Remember! The diet of teenagers should be rich in zinc. Otherwise, the body will stop producing the required amount of serotonin. It regulates mood, protects against outbursts of anger and depression. The teenage body often contains little zinc, since this substance is actively consumed by the rapidly growing skeletal system.

In addition, due to its lack, the body of teenagers is filled with dopamine. This hormone makes you look for adventures and do rash acts. It is not difficult to determine whether there is a lack of zinc - white dots on the nails will tell you.

Psychology of a 14-year-old teenager: advice to parents

The role of parents for a 13–14 year old child is enormous. They are the ones who are able to make sure that the child’s sense of responsibility is clearly linked to reward or punishment. Parents can become that “constructive beginning” in the lives of teenagers, which will help them gradually gain self-esteem and eliminate the desire to fight with adults.

The main thing is not to slide into an angry rejection of the child, to begin to see him as a fiend of hell who deliberately does only harm. You need to learn to hear the teenager and make reasonable compromises. Then you will gradually be able to regain your lost authority.

Remember! Many 13-14 year olds, due to active restructuring of the body (and not just the habit of staying awake at night, walking with friends, hanging out on social networks), find it difficult to get up in the morning and fall asleep early. Therefore, it is wrong to reproach a teenager for sleeping before lunch on a weekend day. There is no laziness here - the teenager simply wants to sleep off the entire past week.

New psychological phenomena at 14–16 years old

A teenager, of course, does not have the experience of parents. However, at 14–15 years old, the child’s logical and analytical abilities are almost the same. Therefore, a teenager poorly perceives the orders of his relatives when he does not see any logic in the commands.

Teenagers of this age are very aware of insincerity. If parents feel angry because of their child’s behavior and say that they are offended, then the teenager will immediately feel that they are not being honest with him. Psychology is a boring concept for teenagers. But it is she who develops their intuition and sensuality.

Feeling of adulthood: how is it characterized?

When adults ask the question: “What age is a teenager?” - then, as a rule, they just want to know when their child will calm down and become sweet, kind and good again. However, teenagers stop being hooligans and being rude not at all when adolescence ends, but at the moment when in their minds the tendency to grow up changes to a feeling. That is, as soon as a teenager gains a sense of adulthood, his behavior changes radically.

How is this feeling characterized? First of all, awareness of responsibility for one’s own actions and words. Secondly, an understanding of the value of things and the meaning of money appears. Teenagers no longer just want to be a hooligan and rebel against existing rules; they are trying to earn extra money and save pocket money to buy something. They are also more consistent in their wishes for holiday gifts to parents.

At what age do children become teenagers with a sense of adulthood, rather than a tendency towards it? There is no answer to this question. Personality development occurs individually and largely depends on the conditions in which the child lives.

First true love, search for a calling

14-17 year old teenagers usually not only date peers of the opposite sex, but actually fall in love. At this age, a full-fledged sex life most often begins (more than “hugs and kisses”). Then the teenager begins to gradually “betray” his group, look at his friends more critically, and look for true friendship, where trust and common interests are important, not hierarchy or status.

However, everything is not limited to love and friendship. Many 15-year-olds are no longer satisfied with quickly boring hobbies. They want to find a calling. At the same time, the future still seems cloudless.

When a teenager finds his calling (or thinks so), he is filled with ambition and the desire to “turn the world upside down.” The psychology of a 16–17 year old teenager is structured in such a way that he is confident that he will achieve outstanding heights in his favorite activity without any problems. Gradually, gaining experience and becoming an adult, a person begins to look more realistically at his own prospects and capabilities.

Herd effect

A manifestation of a mental crisis at 17 years old is copying the lifestyle and habits of peers. This phenomenon can take on a negative connotation if friends are prone to experiments in the field of smoking, drinking alcohol, and psychoactive substances. It is important for parents to take care of the right environment, since the teenager’s behavior largely depends on it.

Direct prohibitions can have the opposite effect, so parental wisdom and tact should be shown. It is necessary to instill from childhood the importance of one’s own opinion and the value of the individual qualities of one’s personality.

A more critical perception of one’s own actions, interest in “global” problems

14-15 year old teenagers begin to leave the small world of subjective perception of reality and evaluate their own actions more critically. Teenagers already know how to put off pleasure “for later” and understand that benefits must be earned. There is less egocentrism in actions.

Many “almost adults” are beginning to become interested in global issues, trying to understand why some countries are more successful than others, how the economy works. This helps to “reconcile” with parents, who can regain authority if they are well versed in such issues. Moreover, a 15–16-year-old teenager already thinks less categorically and is ready to treat opposing opinions more calmly.

How to behave correctly with a teenager?

It is important to maintain a middle ground between “freedom and necessity.” Doesn't become a dictator giving commands. The main thing is that such tactics are completely ineffective, because a teenager is not a small child for whom parents are the highest authority.

Firstly, the teenager may obey, but reluctantly. And secondly, a teenager who is accustomed to obeying his parents will not learn to independently look for solutions to problems and will not acquire leadership qualities.

However, it is also impossible to give a teenager unlimited freedom. Otherwise, the teenager will have problems with a sense of responsibility. Parents must clearly outline the boundaries of what is permitted. It is important that the teenager agrees with these limits, accepts them, and understands why they are needed.

At the same time, parents should take into account the interests of the child and rudely not impose their own understanding of boundaries. It is stupid, for example, to try to prove that littering in your own room is a “crime.” A teenager perceives the mess “in his native territory” differently than his relatives. In his mind, it doesn’t fit in any way with the “mess in his head.” The teenager simply believes that he has the right to decide for himself whether to clean the room or not. For him, it is a matter of personal choice, not “morality.” This often manifests itself in adolescents aged 15 and is more typical for the psychology of boys.

Choice of profession

The age of seventeen is a transitional stage before adulthood and professional self-determination is an urgent need; young people begin to think seriously about their future. Parents should remember that this important step requires inner sensitivity. A child cannot be forced to choose a prestigious profession, guided only by mercantile considerations. Full disclosure of abilities and talents will bring both moral satisfaction and the ability to ensure a financial position.

Moms and dads don’t need to strive for their child to follow their professional path. Each person has his own purpose, and the child needs to be helped to realize it to the fullest.

Useful hobbies

A teenager, no matter how much he rebels, still subconsciously continues to imitate his parents in many ways and maintains a spiritual connection. This feature of the teenager’s psyche needs to be used and interested in a useful activity. Teenagers are addicted people, it’s not difficult to do this. Depending on the child’s character and abilities, he may like:

  • active team sports. Teenagers love group recognition. And where, if not in basketball, football, volleyball is it easiest to win it? Plus, team sports are a great way to “dump” excess hormones;
  • for those who like to create with their hands, modeling is suitable;
  • Teenagers with leadership abilities and a desire to serve society can try to become a member of a youth organization based on their interests. There the child will learn to interact “constructively” in a large group, make a feasible contribution to the common cause, and lead;
  • for girls, courses on makeup, hairstyles, and clothing design are suitable;
  • Teenagers who love to share their own experiences with others can be helped to become video bloggers.

How to talk to a teenager?

Many teenagers tell psychologists that they would like to spend more time talking with their parents. But they “don’t hear” them and condemn their hobbies and lifestyle. And therefore there is no desire to communicate. So you need to try to understand the hobbies of your children. Even when their addictions make you sick.

Denying reality is absolutely useless. But if you accept the child’s interests, you can gradually establish contact. Then the child will pay more attention to what interests you.

When something makes you angry, starting to attack the child and condemning is the most losing strategy. So, as soon as you turn a teenager against you, he will no longer have the desire to seek advice. Of course, judge, but indirectly, find a convenient moment. For example, you can first praise the child for something, show your affection, and then move on to gentle criticism and wishes. Also, from time to time (without intrusiveness), remind them that you are ready to listen and help. Then the child will understand: he has reliable support. He will be less likely to seek outside support.

Remember! Parents should always be prepared to accept the specific style of communication characteristic of teenagers (especially boys) - not to be surprised by sarcasm, ridicule, rudeness, and monosyllabic answers. What is important here is patience, understanding that until the teenager begins to completely trust, he will not begin to talk normally.

What it is?

At the beginning of the last century, the word “teenager” was almost never used; people usually said “youth.” However, after the revolution, they tried not to utter this word because it reeked of the bygone past. Now “youth” is associated with religion, the speeches of priests, and in everyday life the “teenager” and the English synonym “teenager” are used.

The scientific concept of “adolescence” appeared at the end of the 19th century. This happened largely due to the manifestation of interest in the problems of youth on the part of writers, philosophers, and thinkers of that time. For example, Dostoevsky in his novel “The Adolescent” describes the problems characteristic of youth no worse than psychologists do.

What is it? According to scientific definition, this is a specific age period in a person’s life. It is a transition between childhood and adulthood. Accordingly, it is characterized by many changes occurring both in physiology and in human consciousness.

Conversation with teenage boys

Teenage boys perceive auditory information worse than girls. Therefore, psychologists advise parents (when they need to have a serious conversation with their son) to hold his hand or lightly touch his shoulder, look into his eyes. Then not only hearing is involved, but also other senses.

Eye contact is important, since young people perceive information more effectively with their eyes than with their ears. You need to speak in a calm, friendly tone. Short sentences and pauses are better perceived (there is enough time to answer).

Understanding the psychology of teenagers will help parents raise them correctly and push them onto the right path in life.

When does it start and end?

What age is a teenager? Modern science does not give a clear answer to this question. The following factors influence the scope of this period:

  • the country or region in which the child lives;
  • nationality and gender;
  • cultural characteristics;
  • social conditions.

In general, the maximum period of adolescence is the age from 10 to 19 years. Of course, not every person on the threshold of their twenties is a teenager, and not every child begins to grow up from the tenth year of life. On average, a teenager is considered a person between the ages of 12 and 17 years. However, the age at which a child is considered a teenager depends on the individual characteristics of his development.

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]