Adolescents and their emotional well-being

A child in his teenage years is trying hard to develop a personality of their own.

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Adolescence is the time when the eyes look for a role model. (File)

By Neelam Naseeb

When a caterpillar is in the process of becoming a butterfly, it takes a pause, finds a suitable place where this process can take place and only then does this process begin. When a plant does not grow properly we make sure that all the external factors are being taken care of like sunlight, water etc. We don’t blame the plant, we first make sure that the surrounding is favorable. If you think adolescence is mainly about physical or biological changes, you could be wrong here. This is an age where a child is developing wings and is learning how to fly. Are the wings going to be strong? How good a flier? All that is decided as per the external environment the child gets. They start to get more conscious about their surroundings and most importantly about their own self.

Development of CHARACTER

Adolescence is the time when the eyes look for a role model. An image, a character that they can relate to and develop slowly from there. As Rober Greene says “The word character comes from the Greek word CHARASSEIN, which means to engrave or to sharpen. Adolescence is that exact time when one develops character and that is the blueprint of any persona. This is the age when some important decisions take place – for example, I want to be a doctor or a filmstar and also I want to marry someone like my mother or my father etc.


A child in his teenage years is trying hard to develop a personality of their own. They are going to choose who they want to be. This choice is made from the people they see around them. This identity that is made stays forever, even till the child grows 60. For example, fights are quite common between parent and child- if there is an argument in the house and hypothetically if one of the parents is abusive and the kid wants to raise their voice against it, it is important that we let the kid speak up. Often, they are asked to be silent and that sends two messages to the growing kid

To not voice their opinion

That being abusive is normal and should be tolerated

The kid may pick up this as a way of dealing with a problem and this attitude towards problem solving will stay with that child even when they turn 60 or 80. It can be concerning to the parents of what they are surrounding their kids with during their teenage years. The child is going to develop a response system from what they observe.

Adolescence is all about change and changes are never easy. Open communication and approachable parents make it easier for growing kids. As parents, by answering their questions and educating them about what is right and what is not correct, the journey eases and a solid character is developed.

Be the nurturer for a child, safe space for an adolescent and a friend to a teenager if you really want to ensure their well being.

No parenting is perfect but the goal is to make it perfect so an adolescent’s emotional and communicational needs are taken care of. We can’t stop ourselves from making mistakes but we can have a rectification system in place. For example – if parents see that there is a problem they have to be cognizant first and there should be open communication between parents and the child, even about the mistakes that they have made. That instills a sense of ownership and honesty in the bond and that would be replicated by the child in the future. This kid will never shy away from saying sorry and accepting their mistakes.  Usually, you may often see a love-hate kind of situation existing between the teenager and his/her parents. In adolescents, the child does not want the controlling behavior that existed in childhood, but they require emotional support and an open space for communication without any judgment. If a good system or approach exists in the family, the child will develop the idea of what is good and what is not good for them.

Most of the time if we see an under- confident teenager it happens because of two reasons-

Either they have to prove themselves several times

They are constantly pushed to change themselves.

It is important for a parent to understand the emotional well-being of their child is directly linked with the way they raise their child.

(The author is a Life Coach & Energy Therapist. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the

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First published on: 23-04-2023 at 08:00 IST