心の丸窓/Round window of the mind(39) Adolescense

☞「心の丸窓」は心の杜の医師による心の診療に関するコラムです。

Round window of the mind is  the column about
mental therapy written by doctors of Kokoronomori Shinjuku Clinic.


Adolescence is a very
important phase of life for one’s mental development, but at the same time, it
is a very difficult time to pass through as well. And for the parents, too, it
can be the time to bear the test. This time, I would like to think a little bit
about this.


One of the tasks of
adolescence is to adjust and accept their sexual bodies. The Oedipal conflicts
(the wish to become a partner of the opposite sex parent and the conflicts with
the same sex parent) revive in this period and it had to be worked through
again. 


Another very important
task is to establish their adult identity, in another word, to become
independent from their parents. This task is far more difficult than one would
imagine, because they also feel terribly anxious about themselves feeling
inadequate and inferior to other adults. Denial of these anxieties could be one
of the causes of their arrogant and contemptuous attitude towards adults. They
need to fight with their parents and what represent parents, such as school
teachers, authorities, etc. to gain their own sense of value or way of
thinking. These attempts sometime take the forms of rebellious, or even,
violent behavior. 


What can parents do
with it? I think, it is very important to stay as an enemy for them, but with
an understanding of their need to be rebellious. As I described, they need to
fight with parental figure or authority to become independent. But they also
need to know that parents are not really representatives of authority, but they
represent hard reality to live with, although it can be unacceptable for them
sometime. 


I am not saying that
this process always would be safe and smooth. It could follow a tragic
consequence. However, as adolescents need to realize, parents can not prevent
the tragedy anymore as they could before, because parents do not have power to
protect their children and themselves from adolescents’ overwhelming
impulse. And parents, too, have to painfully accept that their children
are not children anymore, but they are to separate from them.


May the force be with
you.


(Gugan)

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