Adolescent Process and the Role of Family Structure
Adolescence is a process of constantly changing the objectively directed structuring of certain qualities and elements of a childs development, mainly social and psychological ones rather than physiological, by forming the relationships and connections that already exist in the adult world and being aware of which a growing person acquires adult integrity. In the process of maturation, for the psychology of adolescence it is important to understand the factors, stages, and forms of the process of growing up. Adolescence is characterized by the appearance of a sense of adulthood and the desire to be and seem like an adult. Assimilation, appropriation, and realization of adulthood are important tendencies of the beginning of adolescence. Deprivation of these needs is the basis of difficulties in upbringing. In this case, the influence of the family structure on the psychological health of a child is just as important as the influence of intra-family relations on the formation of a childs personality (McKinnon 19-27). It helps to create the prerequisites of a prevention of a particular psychosomatic illness, foundation of character, and ability to resist future difficult situations, without which it is impossible to live. There are many factors that make an impact on the psychological formation of a child, but the most important is the influence of the family structure, as the family is a permanent element of the adolescence.
The phenomena of the adolescence includes three components, such as development, maturation, and freedom, which make a huge impact on the persons actions in this stage. Children are eager to grow up and want to be more adult than they are, and obviously, go beyond the childhood stage into the world of culture, sociality, and communicate with adults on equal terms. At the same time, the need for communication adjoins with the need for isolation, individual freedom, and manifestation of the freedom to choose the ways of life, actions, and environment of communication (Rende 78-83). The pedagogical process will be humane as much as it is able to absorb a child with all his or her passions and aspirations, surpass in time of the awakening of these passions, provoke them and create conditions for their formation. In order to adequately create these conditions, it is necessary to understand the nature of growing up.
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The development of the character in adolescence is under the sign of adulthood, determined by adolescents with a sense of adulthood and a tendency towards adulthood. The feeling of adulthood as a relation of a teenager to himself already as an adult is manifested in the emergence of a desire that others will perceive him or her as an adult, which means respect, trust, and recognize the rights of certain independence (Winnicott 752-756). The dissatisfaction of these needs leads to various forms of rebellion, opposing himself or herself to adults, or to conflicts with them. The tendency towards adolescence is noticeable in the desire to be considered as an adult; it appears in relations with adults and peers and in copying different aspects of behavior and the appearance of the elders (McKinnon 38-57). The feeling of adulthood expresses a teenagers new life position in relation to people and the world, determines the specific direction and content of his or her social activity, system of new aspirations, experiences, and affective reactions. Specific social activity of a teenager is a special sensitivity to the assimilation of norms, values, ??and behaviors that exist in the adult world and in their relationships (Winnicott 752-756). For example, in my childhood, there were arguments with my parents all the time, as I wanted to show that I did not want to do everything that they told me. As many other parents, they tried to persuade me to do certain things that in their opinion would have positive impact on my life. The things that were obvious for them, were not such easy things to understand for me. As a result, we argued all the time because of the things that were very useful for me. Unfortunately, being stubborn child, I did not understand my parents and objected mostly all the things that they though were good for me. In fact, I also did not like when they ordered something for me; it did not matter whether it was the cloths or the dishes in restaurant. Generally, it was very unpleasant when somebody did the choice of something instead of me, and it made me feel angry and upset. Obviously, it was my way of rebellion with all the objections and the permanent feeling of anger and irritation. As a result, my parents saw that something was wrong in the way of upbringing and started to treat me as an independent person. It was the moment when I showed my position and said no for the first time, and my parents accepted me as an adult. It has absolutely changed my life in that period of time thanks to them.
Opening the personality, finding the place in the system of human relations, and feeling as an author or creator of own biography are the main events of adolescence. I is an affectively charged and significant for a teenager subject. Conflict of the adolescent I is that the fullness and emptiness of being could be filled by its own events and are presented to a teenager at the same time. The discovery of ones inner world and awareness of oneself has already occurred, but it is not yet known what the self is. Hence, the self-assertion, verification of ones physical and social possibilities, and search for oneself still takes place (Rende 97-113). The assertion of the individuality as a teenager at this stage of development of subjectivity acts simultaneously as an affirmation of the personal mode of being: the reality of the experience of self-verification gives a sense of the reality of ones self (Winnicott 752-756). This search often takes irritating and capricious forms and brings conflicts into the relationship of adolescents and adults. As a rule, the level of the conflict depends on an adults strategy of behavior. All these judgments are directed to the search for a new upbringing psychology and the construction of educational practices of a new generation. With all the difficulties in determining concrete ways to overcome the development crisis in adolescence, it is possible to formulate a general psychological and pedagogical condition for its successful resolution. This condition should include the existence of a community, a shared-activity in the life of a teenager and an adult, cooperation between them, in the process of which new ways of social interaction are emerging, same as a new social position of a teenager (Steinberg 136-149). Adolescence takes place in the adult environment, in the implementation of targeted activities performed at the beginning with the help of adults, and then independently, when a teenager goes through the development and realization of independence, initiative, and responsibility. In this activity, there is the development as an opening of a teenagers inner possibilities.
The psychological basis of the educational process is the directed translation of the semantic formations of the personality from the older generations to the younger ones in the process of their growing up by forming and developing the semantic content of the types of leading activity at different stages of growing up. The construction of the activity of maturing children takes place simultaneously with the development of their consciousness and always occurs in the process of interaction with the world of adults. Both adolescent and adult systems of activity exist in parallel and are interrelated. In this interaction, the adult does not always mediate and sometimes he or she is also a blocker. The general state of adult activity forms a special social field in which a teenager develops (McKinnon 78-99). In adulthood, a teenager should not only accept and master this activity but also create and construct it in the process of interaction with adults, which increasingly allows him or her to master the social affairs of the adult world. As a result, immaturity in this stage of adolescent development is an average state of the person. It also can be used as an indicator that can check the condition of a child whether he or she is healthy or not in the adolescence process. The state of immaturity is often presented when some tragic events happen in the life of a child (Winnicott 752-756). For example, my grandfather and grandmother passed away when I was only 8 years old, and it was very painful moment in my life. I did not know how to behave in this situation, as it fortunately happened first time in my life. As the maturity can be gained through time and experience, in that moment of my life I could not express any sort of sadness for a long time because I did not have the understanding of it. If that situation happened when I was adult enough, my behavior would be absolutely different. Now, if the people who are close to me pass away suddenly, I can definitely tell what I will do in such a difficult situation. All things that I will do are the feeling of sadness and silent support of my relatives. I would stand by their side with silence in order to show them that I also feel that pain and understand what just happened. I feel sorry that in the age of 8 I could not share my feelings with anyone else, as I did not totally understand what happened and what should be my behavior in this situation. Thus, the process of maturity happens not just suddenly; it continues during some period of time and only after that the person becomes adult both psychologically and physiologically.
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Psychological maturation presupposes the differentiation of the elements of consciousness, such as thoughts, feelings, impulses, values, opinions, preferences, interests, intentions, and ambitions. Differentiation is necessary before these elements of consciousness mix, creating balanced experiences and expressing them. The same thing happens in relationship with other people, as growing demands that the child first becomes unique and detached from other individuals (Rende 167-179). The more he or she differentiates, the easier it will be to communicate with others without losing the sense of his or her personality. In a more fundamental sense, the sense of ones self must first separate from inner experiences, an ability that is completely absent in young children. A child must be able to separate himself or herself from the sensations that he or she experiences at a particular moment. Whatever he or she feels, momentary emotions should not control his or her actions (Rende 179-197). A child should not forget about other feelings, thoughts, values, ??and commitments that contradict the sensations that he or she feels at such a moment and he or she must learn to choose. During childhood, a child, growing up, should acquire the ability to build relationships with himself or herself, learn how to analyze his or her inner experience, agree or disagree with himself or herself, evaluate feelings and thoughts. A child should be trained in managing emotions before translating them into the outside world. Adolescents can only learn this attitude from adults with whom they are permanent in contact (Steinberg 198-203). It is important for adults to teach their children emotional literacy through a personal example: first emotions are experienced within themselves, only then they are transmitted to the outside world. The inability to learn this makes teens later impulsive, selfish, and impatient (Steinberg 85-97). Their anger does not come in contact with a feeling of love, and, therefore, such children do not know how to forgive. Disappointment is not compensated by fear or affection, and the teens explosive behavior becomes the norm. Only with time it is noticeable that such children lack a maturity, which is brought up slowly and patiently.
Turning to the world of adults, adolescents evaluate it, using the ability of reflective thinking, and they become much more receptive to moral reasoning. They are intolerant of those who disagree with them and who, perhaps, are calm in the face of injustice. Moreover, the ability to distinguish between the possible and the real allows them not only to understand what the adult world is but also to imagine what it could be like, especially under ideal conditions. This ability of adolescents to compare what they have with what could be turns them into idealists. Aligning the possible with the real, they realize that reality is far from ideals and become critical observers of the actual state of things, and especially critical of adults. Some adolescents for some time develop something like a messianic complex. For all their modesty, they nevertheless ascribe to themselves an important role in the salvation of mankind. They can conclude a contract with God, promising unselfish service to Him, but, at the same time, hoping to play a decisive role in the cause they serve (McKinnon 134-166). They believe that they are making serious efforts to change the world, usually in verbal battles, but sometimes in various group movements. Some adolescents are fond of political idealism and utopian ideas of social restructuring. In older teens, egocentrism is replaced by socio-centrism. At the same time, when teenagers are addicted to political idealism, they become defenders of the oppressed. The ability to sympathize with other peoples sufferings comes from the young precisely because their souls are constantly fermented (Winnicott 752-756). Because of their psychological insecurity, adolescents easily identify with the weak, poor, and oppressed victims of society. Thus, their perception of social injustice reflects a personal internal struggle. Younger adolescents revolt mainly on the verbal level, doing almost nothing to protect declaratively supported humane ideals. Only later, in youth, young people begin to connect their ideals with appropriate actions and become more understanding, tolerant, and useful. Teenagers often hold extreme views, political or any other, because they are idealists (Steinberg 45-58). The reason of this idealism lies in their newly emerging ability to think hypothetically and imagine what the world might be like. In addition, abstract thinking allows adolescents to find new solutions to old problems. The idealism of adolescents is the result of their new ability to distinguish between the real and the possible. They become defenders of outsiders and often help people in difficult situations.
Thus, adolescence is a process when the children become mature in all aspects of life, changing their views on life. Family support is the thing that is very important for the formation of the child. For different stages of adolescents, various behavior of parents is required, as it could help the children develop their personality. It does not matter whether a child objects all actions and recommendations or is just sometimes rude with the parents, it is essential to treat him or her as an adult. This attitude will help a child feel independently and like he or she could make their decisions. As a result, when the adults help their children in that process, children overcome this period easier and more successfully.