Adolescence is a turbulent time where separation, control and independence becomes conflictual; internally, within the mind of the adolescent and externally between child and parent.

The child, parent relationship is continually tested as it’s dynamic alters.  The adolescent strives for independence and the parent strives to link this desired independence to responsibility.  The conflict which emerges feels unrelenting at times with constant pull and push.  The adolescent fluctuates between needing to be the small child again when things get too much, to expressing a need for no one (a pseudo adult defence).

The biggest challenge is allowing a healthy separation to occur and both parties need to manage this separately and together.  Both parent and child need to adapt to the new dynamic.  Separation is struggled with and many emotions and realities need to be faced and managed for this to come about.

The struggle to maintain control is fought by both parties, the adolescent acts out because they feel out of control and the parent grapples with having to relinquish their control.  This parallels the need to emotionally come to terms with the fact the child is growing up and moving away.

Both the adolescent and parent are involved in the process of separation and for this to happen both sides have to slowly let go.  This is a necessary part of healthy development.


If you would like more insight into your relationship with your child or seek support in managing this stage with your child email to arrange your free 15 minute consultation.

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