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Childhood to Adolescence | Sailing Through with Help

teenager and adolescent counseling in Fayetteville NC

Childhood to Adolescence | Sailing Through with Help


There is no specific occurrence that closes childhood and opens adolescence. The two phases of development, or the tween years, are generally considered to be a passage that every child must go through to reach maturity. The passage is unavoidable. It is bumpy because of the many changes and challenges, but some are “bumpier” than the others.  

If your child in his/her tween years has changes and challenges that are unfolding gradually, adjustment can be easier. If the passage, though, is bumpier with the changes and challenges bursting with such force and suddenness, they may need more than your presence, love and support. They may need the assistance of a counselor. After all, these life-changing events can elicit confusion and impact many aspects of life.

Giving up on them isn’t an option. As a parent, you can ease the crossing of the passage, even so it’s a happy process. Begin with understanding the process of changes and the ensuing challenges. This will not only empower you, but also lead you to the right decisions, such as bringing in professional help. Counseling can be a valuable strategy in improving your communication and relationship during the transitioning from a child to a teen.


Adolescence: What Is There to Understand?

What is “adolescence?” This Latin term literally means “to grow into maturity.” It is, therefore, the passage that connects childhood and adulthood. It starts with puberty – a time of enormous physical, cognitive and emotional changes. This may start as early as age 10 and extend until 18, even 21. The surging levels of hormones that will drive the change can cause an astounding 360-degree-turn in how they look and many other aspects of life. At center stage is how they interact with others – family, mentors and peers.

As a result, they will look like an adult externally. Inside, the development will be slower than the physical development, particularly their brain connections. Hence, they have the appearance of a grownup, but their “emotional and physical abilities are incomplete,” says Erin Morgan of the Virginia Cooperative Extension. With all the hasty decisions and the risks, they took or may take, it is understandable why adults doubt their judgment. One too many teens have committed blunders of irreparable consequences, it is natural you want to protect them. 

The passages aren’t the same. This can be influenced by a lot of life-impacting factors. Things such as the quality of family life, the nature of their other relationships, their immediate home and school environments, their health, etc. can define their traits and abilities to respond to the changes. This explains why there are resilient and well-adjusted teens and why there are those who continue to struggle.


The Passage of Changes

Adolescence is not always the bumpy road that you may have personally experienced or witnessed in other youths. It can be exciting, fun and can hold a lot of promising opportunities for your teen. The road toward maturity and independence, however, can also be marked with many challenges, it is difficult to tell if your teen can come out unscathed. You and the rest of the family journeying with the teen also stand to be hurt in the process, as he/she becomes a confused, disagreeable and rebellious teenager.

The growth spurt and the ensuing changes in their brain and emotional development are a big deal for them. They will want to look like the clique they belong to or the “icon” they look up to. Their success or failure in the physical department can boost or crush their confidence and self-worth. They will experiment with their looks, coming home with a new hairstyle, hair color, new tattoos and piercings, etc. Driven by their surging hormones, their moods will be shifting, they can become angry very fast for not being allowed to go out in an outrageous outfit or to join their friends after dinner.

Their adolescence will, most likely, be nothing like yours. With the culture-changing 21st century technologies, parenting will certainly be more challenging. Your teen will have different perspectives, needs and wants from what you may have had as a teen. All these differences can sow the seeds of a generation gap, misunderstanding and conflict.  For instance, they may demand that you pay for exorbitantly-priced dermatological treatments to achieve the look they desire, when you just used to eat healthy, do chores, and/or use home remedies to get rid of extra weight or acne. Not receiving your approval, they may stop talking to you for days, or until they want something again.


Adolescent Issues

With all the changes happening during the transition, it is common for teenagers and their parents to have issues along the way. Focus on the Family identifies some of these common issues. These include self-esteem, physical dissatisfaction, search for identity and identity crisis, establishing independence, emotional turmoil and challenges, and emerging interest in the opposite sex.

Their sense of self-worth is particularly sensitive during the transition. It is strongly founded on how they see themselves. This is the reason why they will strive hard to look like the popular people in their environment. With the world being shrunk by the internet, they now have bigger shoes to fill, hence a bigger chance to fail. If they perceive themselves as not enough, it can be easy for them to lose their self-esteem and/or to develop negative emotions and thoughts. Accordingly, they may react in a displeasing manner, either they wallow in self-pity or manifest strong reactions to compensate for their inadequacy.

Understanding that there could be good reasons why they look different or ways to improve themselves may still be beyond what they can fathom. With immature brain connections, they may develop monstrous fears, pain, insecurities, etc. further exposing them to emotional conditions, such as depression and anxiety. These are often manifested in moodiness, shifting behaviors, rebelliousness, and anger.


Counseling: Complementing Parenting  

Many parents tend to become stressed and overwhelmed during the transitioning process. If you had a tough adolescence yourself, your parenting techniques can be significantly influenced by it. You can make decisions more fitting for the unique challenges of your teen. You can choose to partner with an experienced counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC.

The parenting style that you will adopt has to be flexible. You can decide on the style by proactively working with the counselor. The combination of counseling and the appropriate parenting style can help your teen discover themselves, be independent, sail through the other challenges of adolescence more comfortably, and have a good shot at a happy adolescence. With help, you can spot the signs of difficulty and be able to assist them when they need it.

There are challenges that you can’t remove from the transitioning, but there are things you can do to help them through it with more confidence and faith in themselves. The process is critical, and so is your help.  Therefore, you should not leave the success of adolescent transitioning to chance. Work with a caring counselor independently contracted with CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC to help you with your parenting style and in recognizing the red flags of emotional issues and conditions. Transitioning need not be a distressing process for you and your child. Partnering with right CCS contracted counselor is good decision. Call today!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Fayetteville, NC (North)

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC

Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC

Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-636-0011 (Fastest way to schedule)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri
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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC