Not all teenagers enter and exit adolescence at the same age or display these same behaviors.What’s more, throughout much of adolescence, a youngster can be farther along in some areas of development than in others.
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The march toward autonomy can take myriad forms: less overt affection, more time spent with friends, contentious behavior, pushing the limits—the list goes on and on.
Yet adolescents frequently feel conflicted about leaving the safety and security of home.
For example, a fifteen-year-old girl may physically resemble a young adult but she may still act very much like a child since it isn’t until late adolescence that intellectual, emotional and social development begin to catch up with physical development.
Is it any wonder that teenagers sometimes feel confused and conflicted, especially given the limbo that society imposes on them for six to ten years, or longer?
By mid-adolescence, if not sooner, most youngsters’ physiological growth is complete; they are at or close to their adult height and weight, and are now physically capable of having babies.
Most boys and girls enter adolescence still perceiving the world around them in concrete terms: Things are either right or wrong, awesome or awful.
Adolescence can be a confusing time for parents, too.
For one thing, they must contend with their children’s often paradoxical behavior.
For pediatricians, offering guidance and advice to parents makes up a considerable and rewarding part of each day.