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Presented By: Carla Thompson. Who is this child? Understanding your adolescent Parent Workshop. Discussion Points. The purpose of this workshop is to educate parents on understanding adolescent transitions, developmental process and emotional issues that arise on a day to day bases. .

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presented by carla thompson

Presented By: Carla Thompson

Who is this child?Understanding your adolescent

Parent Workshop

discussion points
Discussion Points

The purpose of this workshop is to educate parents on understanding adolescent transitions, developmental process and emotional issues that arise on a day to day bases.

what is it
What is it?
  • Adolescence is defined as the period between the normal onset of puberty and the beginning of adulthood.
  • Adolescence is a time when a person’s body, family, school, and the larger society demand change.
  • Adolescence is a period of transition between childhood and adulthood.
  • It is a period that varies from culture to culture, and is a time when individuals learn to be socially responsible for themselves and for their actions (Bancroft & Reinisch, undated). 
what happens
What happens?
  • In American culture adolescence covers a span of almost 10-years; from puberty to full biological maturation.
  • Within this time frame youth are affected by various developmental transformations including physical, emotional, and social changes. 
  • With these changes come many responsibilities and privileges that are different from those of childhood or full adulthood, aspects that ultimately define the period of adolescence (Bancroft & Reinisch, undated).
why the change
Why the change?
  • In this stage, people begin to think and function like adults.
  • Adolescents begin to leave concrete thought and move on to thinking more abstractly.
  • Focus for adolescents turns to what is possible rather than what is real.
  • In this lifespan stage, people begin to form the ability to plan for the future.
why so social
Why so social?
  • During this stage, one is influenced by peers and parental influence decreases.
  • Adolescents begin to develop new friendships and relationships.
  • Adolescents seek sexual stimulation and satisfaction from a member of the opposite sex.
why are they so different
Why are they so different?
  • Adolescents are awkward in initiating conversations with members of the opposite sex out of fear of how they look or fear they may say the wrong thing (Grover and Nangle 2003).
  • During this lifespan stage, one uses inductive reasoning to systemize ideas and construct theories about oneself.
  • Adolescents begin to establish own identity.
what is happening to their bodies
What is happening to their bodies?
  • Sexual maturation begins and continues through adulthood.
  • Physical development during adolescence is faster than at any other time since infancy.
  • Rapid gains in height and weight are made during this stage. These rapid gains are attributed to increased muscle development in boys and increased body fat in girls.
  • The development of secondary sex characteristics begins as well as the growth of pubic hair.
more changes
More changes
  • The development of breasts in girls occurs as well as the scrotal/testicular enlargement in boys.
  • The appearance of regular nocturnal emissions is seen in boys and the first menstrual period in girls is experienced.
  • Males’ voices begin to change and facial hair develops.
  • The growth of underarm hair is noticed in this stage.
  • Adolescents experience increased production of oil, and increased sweat as well as the beginning of acne.
  • Continued brain development is noted and adolescents require a greater amount of calories.
why are they rebelling
Why are they rebelling?
  • This stage of development is right next to the adult stage so it is the last step before being an adult.
  • This is a time for adolescents to decide about their future line of work.
  • Adolescents think about starting their own families in a few years.
  • One of the first things they must do is to start making their own decisions.
developmental issues
Developmental Issues
  • Today’s adolescents are faced with issues such as dating, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Adolescents enter transitions with the goal of becoming independently functioning adults, as they strive to meet evolving personal and career related needs.
please help me
Please ………….Help Me
  • Cutting has become a well known topic of concern within the US School systems, as well as a growing concern for parents.
  • Adolescent teenagers may deliberately harm themselves for a variety of reasons.
  • Often we find the reason for self cutting is a direct means of coping with emotional distress.


the cutting edge facts
The Cutting Edge Facts
  • 90% of self-injury individuals begin harming themselves during their teen years or younger.
  • Cutting and other self-injury behavior crosses all cultures and socio-economic norms.
  • The number of cases related to teenage cutting is on the rise and without treatment many will continue the behavior well into their adult years.
  • Some studies indicate that cutting is learned from friends, peers or family members (such as older siblings).
  • Cutting has become the new anorexia among today’s teens especially in girls.
  • Most parents do not have a clue their teenage child is cutting.
what is self injury

Self-injury allows a person to cope with extreme emotional pain. It can allow a person to feel something when they have deadened every ounce of their emotions.

In both situations, self-injury creates a change from an unbearable emotional state. Physical pain becomes a coping mechanism, a way of gaining control, and a way to disassociate from an emotional pain that has no end, no relief.

What is Self Injury
types of self injury
Types of Self-Injury
  • Cutting-
    • The use of sharp object to cause skin wound.
  • Branding
    • Burning self with hot object.
  • Skin Picking
    • Tearing or picking at skin until there’s a wound.
  • Hair Pulling
    • Pulling hair from scalp.
  • Hitting
    • Punching self to cause bruises.
  • Piercing
    • Poking self with needles.
  • Chemical Burns
    • Drinking or using chemicals to burn self.
what self injury is not
What Self-Injury is NOT
  • Self Injury is not a bad attempt to suicide
  • Self-Injury is not body art or body modification

Why do they cut?

  • Anger or stress relief
  • Escaping a bad or unwanted feeling
  • Expression of emotional pain
  • Release of emotional pain
  • Rejection
  • Desperation
  • Emptiness
  • Rage

Where do they cut?

  • Wrist
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Stomach
  • Under arms
  • Bikini lines (girls)
  • Inside thigh
what to watch for
What to Watch For
  • Unexplained frequent injuries, particularly cuts
  • Blood on the insides of clothing or on bed sheets
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts or long pants even in warm weather
  • Low self esteem
  • Difficulty functioning at home, school or work
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
treatment and referral sources
Treatment and Referral Sources

SAFE: Self Abuse Finally Ends

A treatment program called SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) offers information for parents, teens, teachers and social workers on its Web site,

Stepfamily Life

Discovery Health

Teens Health

love listen and
LOVE, Listen and ………
  • Be there for your child.
  • Show love.
  • Provide support.
  • Seek medical doctors
  • Positive attention is a valuable part of the healing process.
  • Consider therapy.
how can i communicate with my adolescent
  • Listen.
  • Create opportunities to talk.
  • Talk over differences.
  • Avoid over-reacting.
  • Talk about things that are important to your adolescent.
  • Communicate with kindness and respect.
  • AllRefer Health (2003). Adolescent Development: Physical development. Retrieved on December 19, 2009 from
  • Ascribe Higher Education News Service: Teen Relationships: More Than Long Phone Calls and Dating Dramas; New Resource Indicates What Works to Raise Teens With Positive Social Skills for Long-Term Benefits. (2003). Retrieved December 20, 2009, from:
  • Bancroft, John & Reinisch, June M. (undated).  Adolescence & Puberty.  Oxford University Press, NY.
  • Beck, N. (2004) Understanding Adolescents’ Development. Retrieved on December 19, 2009 from
  • Grover, R.L. & Nangle. D. W. Journal of Youth and Adolescence: Adolescent perception of problematic heterosocial situations a focus group study. Retrieved December 19, 2009 from:
  • Huebner, A. (2000) Adolescent Growth and Development. Virginia Polytchnical Institute and State University. Retrieved December 22, 2009 from
  • Scott Counseling offers hundreds of parenting articles in a variety of categories.  Parent coaching books are a tremendous source of parenting information. Retrieved on December 27, 2009 from