The Growing Personality
As adolescents get older, you will notice changes in their behaviour and interests. While it's exciting to see adolescents seek more independence, there are new personal and Internet safety concerns as well. The following section outlines common characteristics of adolescents 13 to 15 years of age.
Adolescents 13 to 15 years of age...
- Are extremely influenced by peers and their behaviour.
- Have a 'pseudo-maturity' and feel they can handle more than they are ready for developmentally (feel invincible).
- Are extremely sensitive and easily humiliated, especially to social judgment.
- Would rather act shamelessly in front of adults, out of free choice, than be forced into activities that might embarrass them in front of their peers.
- Acceptance and belonging are most important.
- How they look and what others think of them can be the most important thing to them.
- Are vulnerable to those who offer insincere flattery.
- Separate from parents to form their own identity.
- Test the loyalty of friendship through conflict.
- Compare themselves to peers in an effort to define themselves.
- Take huge emotional risks in search of their identity.
- Will change the truth to avoid social judgment.
- Have hormonal changes that affect their mood.
- Their actions may be guided by what feels right in the moment.
- May become rebellious and explore with minor delinquency.
- May experiment with drugs and alcohol.
- May explore sexuality.
- Demand privacy.
- Experience a change in sleep patterns. They stay up later and sleep in longer.
- Misreading adult emotions is common. They often confuse an adult's sadness with anger.
- Focus on whether their behaviour conforms to the behaviour of others, not whether it is right or wrong.
- Will be motivated to maintain appropriate behaviour if they believe they are being monitored by an adult.
- Are more reactive and affected by stress than adults are.