Standing on their Own Feet: You and Your Younger Adolescent

Author(s) : Judith Trowell

Standing on their Own Feet: You and Your Younger Adolescent

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2008
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 128
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 25867
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855755314
  • ISBN 10 : 1855755319
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Young children are cute and delightful or are having temper tantrums. Primary school children are eager and enthusiastic; gaining mastery of their world; defiant and difficult at times, but still mainly wanting to please, responding to suggestions and requirements. Then comes adolescence and the rules of engagement change. Young adolescents aged ten to fourteen years are still legally children: parents or carers are responsible for them and their behaviour. However, these young people begin to see themselves as separate independent individuals. Friendships become more intense and the peer group becomes increasingly significant. External issues can be vital: clothes, hair style, make up, activities, behaviour in school or outside all come to signify to which group the young person belongs. Home and the family become less and less important…

Early adolescence is a time of change, challenge and fun. Young people are rather like preschool children and want independence, but at the same time need support and firm parenting. Management of these conflicting needs is a developmental process for the young person and their parents.

This book starts with developmental issues and describes how the young person must move forward, not only physically but emotionally, in social skills and relationships, and also intellectually and with a moral sense.

Problems that can occur are considered: psychosocial problems when the young people struggle in their environment and with relationships, and then mental health problems. These latter can be frightening for the young person and it is important to recognise 'adolescent turmoil' where the mood and state of mind is distressing but fluctuates over time and is not fixed, and also the more long term difficulties which probably need outside help.

The importance of parents is emphasised, for parents to manage the difficulties and hostility and yet to continue to be there when the young person needs help or is in trouble. Young people tend to open up and want to talk just at times when parents are weary and ready for bed. This is acknowledged but parents are encouraged to do their best to be available.

Writing this book after many years of work with families when they had broken down was an interesting and different experience. Hopefully, despite the perspective being from the very troubled end, the book will provide useful thoughts about how to recognise, and when possible prevent, problems, and to alert parents to what they can manage themselves, and when other help needs to be sought.'
- Judith Trowell

Reviews and Endorsements

'Once upon a time parents celebrated the arrival of puberty with pride, and in many cultures family and community joined together to celebrate this passage from childhood to adulthood and independence. It is sad that today we live in times when this transition is viewed with anxiety and fear. Of course, as ever before, the ex-child comes to this point in his/her life with a mixture of excitement and ambivalent anticipation, but now their parents often experience a sense of isolation and dread, not knowing how to ensure that the next ten to twelve years run smoothly for their child and for themselves. Judith Trowell has had a rich professional life working in a variety of settings and contexts with adolescents and their parents. In this book, she describes and discusses in a lucid and sensitive manner the physical and emotional changes that younger adolescents, aged between 10 and 14 years, go through and how these affect and are influenced by their parents.'
- Dr A.H. Brafman, from the Series Editor's Foreword

About the Author(s)

Judith Trowell is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Tavistock Clinic, and Professor of Child Mental Health, West Midlands NIMHE/CSIP and University of Worcester. She is a psychoanalyst and child analyst and worked for many years in the NHS as a clinician, trainer, and clinical researcher. Her publications include The Emotional Needs of Young Children and Their Families: Applications of Psychoanalysis in Community Settings (with Marion Bower) and The Importance of Fathers: A Psychoanalytic Re-Evaluation (with Alicia Etchegoyen).

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