There are changes that occur in human beings throughout their lives.Human development focuses on behavior changes, mental development,physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth. Human beingsundergo various stages in their development from birth to adulthood.According to Freud, there are different stages of human developmentthat humans undergo (Fingerman, 2011). One of the stage is thegenital stage that includes children who are between 11-18 years whohave begun puberty and are getting ready for adulthood. During thegenital stage, teenagers experience physical changes in their bodyand experience social issues. The period is considered quitechallenging especially for the parents who try to help their childrento deal with the issues. Many issues arise during the adolescentstage that affects human development such as self-concept, identity,self-esteem among many others. Focusing on the adolescent issues thatchildren experience, the paper seeks to discuss the impact of theadolescent issues on socio-emotional development.
A person is known based on their identity. Identity expresses who oneis as an individual and helps one to have a sense of belonging to aparticular group. During the adolescent stage, people tend to searchfor their identity because they want to fit in the world and theirsocial surroundings. According to Erickson, during the adolescentstage of identity versus role confusion, adolescents try to find outwho they are both sexually and regarding occupation (Newman &Newman, 2009). Being male or female, helps one to be identified aseither a man or a woman. One, therefore, develops the feeling thatthey belong to a specific gender thus achieving sexual identity. Thecultural background of an individual also influences identity. Peoplebelong to the same community if they practice common values, beliefs,and morals. Culture also defines specific roles for community membersbased on their age and gender. In some communities, children in theadolescent stage participate in household chores for the girls whilethe boys assist their fathers in their work in preparation for theirroles in adulthood thus achieving occupation identity. Therefore, anadolescent who fails to achieve self-identity may be affectedsocially. A person may thus find difficulty in establishing andmaintaining a relationship with others because they do not know wherethey belong. A family also tends to have expectations that theyexpect their children to meet. For instance, parents expect theirchildren to be performing well in class so that they can have abright future and pursue careers such as medicine and law especiallyif the parent is either a doctor or a lawyer (Bavarian, et al.,2013). The child may be trying to meet the expectations of the familyto acquire their identity but fail to perform in class. Thesocio-emotional development of such a child may be affected becausehe/she may feel as if they do not meet expectations of the family,especially where the parents are not supportive. Therefore, failingto achieve the desired identity tends to influence thesocio-emotional development of adolescents.
Teenagersdevelop strong feelings and deep emotions during the adolescentstage. They desire to feel loved and react aggressively in othersituations. In other situations, they tend to become moody sincetheir brains are still in the process of learning how to express andcontrol their emotions as adults. Adolescent issues arise when thechildren become too emotional, and their inability to handle theiremotions may result in conflict situations with others or withthemselves. Most of the conflicts arise between the children andtheir parents, friends or teachers (Wang, et al., 2014). Whenteenagers cannot control the way they feel about themselves orothers, their socio-emotional development may be affected becausethey feel as though they are hated. For example, when parents correctthem, they feel as though their guardians are being too strict andinvading their privacy. Adolescents show many signals that reflecttheir emotions, and it is the role of their parents to ensure thatthey respond to these signs as it helps in how children learn toregulate their emotions. However, if the teenagers do not learn howto manage their feelings, their socio-emotional development isaffected since once they get into adulthood they are not aware howto handle their feelings in a constructive manner. Emotionsregulation can also affect the socio-emotional development ofteenagers by impairing how they are thinking and their judgmentskills because most of them let their emotions to guide theirbehaviors without thinking of the consequences of their actions(Gallupe, Bouchard & Davies, 2015).
Peer pressure is also another adolescent issue that affects children.During the adolescent stage, peers tend to compare themselves totheir friends and fellow peers. They compare how their bodies lookespecially because of the changes that are occurring in their bodies.For instance, females compare their breast development and hipsenlargement while the men compare how deep their voices are and thedevelopment of beards and muscles on their bodies. Those who undergothe physical changes faster hold higher authority than the rest.Therefore, any instructions that they offer to other adolescents arefollowed without questions since other teenagers want to belong to acertain group resulting in peer pressure. Peer pressure can alsooccur whereby the children indulge in harmful behavior such as drugabuse that may interfere with their future life. People who are inthe late stage of adolescence have adequate experience, and sincethey feel authoritative, they may be wrong role models to theirjuniors in the early stage of adolescence. An example would beforcing or introducing children to the use of addictive drugs. Thechildren will thus grow with the drugs regulating their behavior ifthey become addictive (Brown, Hippensteele & Lawrence, 2014).Peer pressure is thus an adolescent issue that affects thesocio-emotional development of children by making it difficult toregulate one’s behavior.
As children grow, they are encouraged to develop high self-esteem sothat they can be able to express themselves and give their opinionsabout various issues in life. Children with low self-esteem tend tobe more reserved and have poor relations with others because theyfear that others may ridicule them. During the adolescent stage,children try to act independent and as though they are in authority.They are reluctant to follow their parent’s advice, and they wantto make decisions on their own. By seeking independence, teenagerstend to have less relationship with their family and interact morewith their friends. Spending more time with friends implies that mostof the decisions that the children make are influenced by theirfriends thus helping them to develop high self-esteem since they canestablish and maintain better relations with others. Independence anddeveloping self-esteem thus influences the socio-emotionaldevelopment of children positively since it encourages betterinteractions with both peers and adults. Independence also enhancessocio-emotional development among adolescents because it encouragesthem to make personal decisions especially because once they get intoadulthood, they shall have to make their choices (Wigelsworth, etal., 2010).
Parents and guardians care for their children from birth as it helpsin their human development. During the early childhood stages, theinfants are only aware of the care they receive from their parentssince they are not aware or concerned about the emotions of others.However, when they get to the adolescent stage, due to thepsychological development, teenagers become aware of other people’sfeeling and the kind of emotions they are expressing. The nature ofhuman life is based on the relationships that people establish withothers and the social bonds that they maintain. Therefore, it isnormal for adolescents to show empathy for one another as it helps tolink the feelings that they develop for one another. Hence, thereason children in the adolescent stage start getting into romanticrelationships or start going out with friends from the opposite sexbecause of empathy. Getting into romantic relationships is anadolescent issue among children because some of the children end upgetting into intimate relationships and eventually become pregnant atan early age (Huang & Su, 2014). Others risk contracting STDsbecause of lack of knowledge of the dangers of engaging inunprotected sex. Such behavior is considered immoral behavior in thesociety because one is at times forced to stop studying and become amother at an early age. Engaging in immoral behavior affects thesocio-emotional development among children because they may develop anegative relationship towards people of opposite sex if theirrelationship had a major impact on their future for example throughgetting pregnant or where the break up was nasty, one can develop thefeeling of being rejected. On the other hand, empathy can also affectthe socio-emotional development among children by creating a cultureof caring for them whereby once they get to adulthood, it becomeseasy to show concern for others and develop strong relationships.
Communication is considered an essential factor because it helpspeople to exchange information. When teenagers get to the adolescentstage, the way they communicate changes. They tend to communicateless with their parents and more with their fellow peers. In themodern world, due to the high development of communicationtechnology, children are spending more time on the internet, socialmedia and their phones as compared to the time they are spendingwith their families (Macintyre, Montero & Sagbakken, 2015).Communication among adolescents is crucial because it influences howthey communicate with others and learn about major issues in theworld. Communication is helpful in the socio-emotional development ofchildren because it establishes an attachment between the childrenand their parents where they can freely share the challenges they arefacing and obtain solutions from the adults on how to handledifferent situations. Communication also helps parents to know whentheir children need their support and the situations they need to beleft alone. Children who communicate freely with their parents havebetter socio-emotional development as compared to those who do not.Besides, if no maternal attachment is established between a child andhis/her parents, their socio-emotional health is poor because one maydevelop negative thinking and develop insecure feelings that affecthow they interact with others.
In a family context, siblings are expected to have strongrelationships with one another than even with their parents andfriends. However, during the adolescent stage, the relationshipbetween siblings is usually characterized by conflicts and rivalry,but they still nurture and support one another (Patterson &Vakili, 2014). Parents receive negative complaints from theirchildren about one another at this stage, and they are expected tohandle the issues. Although the siblings continue receiving equaltreatment from their parents, they become distant and less emotional.The adolescent relationship with siblings is likely to affect thesocio-emotional development of the teenagers depending on the natureof the family. In well-functioning families, the negative adolescentrelationship with their siblings shall be handled well since parentsare committed to helping their adolescent children to learn andpractice the right behavior by arguing less with their brothers andsisters and being good role models. However, in families that haveissues, when conflicts arise among the siblings, the parents are notconcerned about the aggressive behavior of their children. Therefore,the interactions among siblings are greatly affected resulting inantisocial behavior or engaging in drug use because they tend toperfect in aggressive behavior that result in loose morals and lackof emotion regulation.
Adolescent issues shall always affect human development amongchildren. Parents need to support their children successfully to gothrough the changes of this stage and reach adulthood. They also needto know what to expect during this stage so that they may have anunderstanding of the different forms of behavior they may see theirchildren once they get to the adolescence stage. The adolescentissues vary among children and hence, it is important for parents totreat each case differently because of the different behaviors thatchildren exhibit.
In summary, adolescent issues can affect socio-emotional developmentin children in different ways. It influences their identity as theteenagers struggle to identify themselves both sexually andoccupationally. Their self-esteem also affects their socio-emotionaldevelopment because if it is low, children become less confidentunlike when they have high self-esteem that allows them to expresstheir opinions. Adolescents are emotional, and their sensitivityinfluences socio-emotional development because it impairs theirthinking, judgment skills as well as how to regulate their emotions.Peer pressure has also been identified as an adolescent issue thataffects human development. Peer pressure hinders the ability ofteenagers to regulate their behavior since they are influenced toengage in illegal behavior and activities. The inability to regulateone’s behavior hinders social development since one does not have asense of self and decision-making. Empathy also triggerssocio-emotional development because it encourages romanticrelationships, but it could also affect future relationships of ateenager if the romantic relationships result in frustrations such asearly pregnancy. Communication between parents and teenagers alsoinfluences socio-emotional development because where there is poorcommunication children develop aggressive behavior that affectstheir relations with others. Besides, relationship with siblings alsoaffects socio-emotional development because if one cannot control theconflicts with their siblings, they develop feelings of hatred andend up engaging in antisocial behavior.
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