Teenagers tend to evaluate themselves more on a psychological level than younger children, placing more emphasis on emotions and beliefs than on physical or outward characteristics. They begin to have very complex views about themselves and can think in abstract terms. Generally, self-esteem increases at this age as compared to earlier years.
Probably it’s no surprise to you that kids this age can often be considered moody. Whether this emotional instability is linked to changing hormones or the struggle to understand themselves and establish an identity (or, more likely, both!), it’s important for you to realize that this is a normal stage in your kid’s self-development.
You should, however, pay close attention at this age to moodiness that becomes something a bit more extreme. Adolescents who feel hopeless and consistently pessimistic may become clinically depressed and should get psychological treatment.
One of the most important psychological developments during the teen years is the formation of an identity. How kids come to understand themselves, who they are, and how they fit into this world is no easy task. A recent study showed that during late adolescence, a teenager uses his or her life story—the memories of his life—to make sense of who he is and where he’s going in the future. A life filled with meaningful, positive experiences will help your kids form a positive view of themselves.
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children