In order to effectively discuss Adolescent Problems, it may be better to break the youngsters from ages 8-18 into 3 different categories. We have labeled them
Childhood which will discuss the children from ages eight years old up to eleven years of age. The next category we call early and preteens. The final category we
have identified as teenage years. Because of the range between the youngest and the oldest, it would be very difficult to speak of them all together.
Adolescence and Childhood
For purposes of discussing adolescent problems, we will discuss the youngest category Childhood first. Childhood in this forum will be children from the ages of
8-11. The Adolescent Problems for this age group include failure to go to school, the inability to get along with family members, and issues with class mates.
An Adolescent at the age of 8 is still a child, but in the next few years they will enter a difficult phase in their life. When a child begins to change from
childhood to teenager there are many factors that come into play. They are still children, but many people begin to expect adult behavior from them. This unreal
expectation can be daunting for some young children. In many cases if both parents are working outside of the home, the oldest child is expected to pick up the
parental slack. This burden added to the already difficult task of growing up in todayís society can be additionally challenging.
Early and Preteens
The early and preteen years can also be challenging. When a child becomes a teenager they are not really adults, but believe they should be treated as such.
Some studies say that the human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 21. This fact is not commonly believed among the majority of youth today.
I am sure that any parent trying to logic with their child will attest to this fact. The early teen and preteenís feel that they already know everything and the
last thing they need is advice from their parentís. In the early and preteenís eye their parentís and any adult are the enemy and should not be trusted. It can be
very challenging for a parent to gain the trust of their children, especially when they reach their teenage years.
The lack of trust between parentís and early and preteenís is a difficult barrier to break. In times past it was referred to as the generation gap. If a parent
is to gain the respect and trust of their preteen, they must sincerely work to earn this trust. Some parentís have tried to earn this trust by becoming one of their
teenís friendís. In reality the early or preteen doesnít need another friend, they need a parent. The most successful parentís have found that by being consistent
and genuine they can effectively parent their teen. The early and preteen of today is very intelligent and will quickly see through an insincere attempt to become
involved in their life.
The final bracket we will discuss in association with adolescent problems is the teenage years. This category reaches to the age of 19 even though an 18 and 19
year old are considered adults, they are still teenagers. We mentioned previously that preteens already believe that they know more than their parentís. This fact
is multiplied by those in their teenage years. Very few parentís who havenít already developed a true relationship with their preteen or early teen, will not be able
to develop a relationship with their teenager. The teenager has spent the last 15-17 years in the same environment ďdoing what they doĒ, and ďacting like they actĒ.
It will be nearly impossible for a parent to disrupt the cycle or hope to positively affect the unruly child when they reach their teenage years.
We do not mean to sound negative or like there is no hope. The reality is there are parents that have been able to break the barrier, and change the relationship
between themselves and their teen. This is not an easy task and will require some professional help. As previously mentioned it is not as easy task and the parent
will sincerely have to want to get close to their child. If the unruly adolescent problems now being manifested in the childís teenage years are to be changed, there
may have to be some separation. Many parents have found help by sending their child to a boarding school for troubled teens. These programs can help the parent gain
control of the situation and set specific ground rules for the childís return home. If the parent sincerely wants to help, they will have to make changes in their