Dealing with young adults: Teen characteristics

Dealing with young adults: Teen characteristics

The teenage years are the formative years of a person’s life. In trying to know the characteristics of teenagers, it is important to remember that no two teenagers are the same. However, all teenagers go through physical and hormonal changes that shape them into the adults they will grow up to become.

Why the teenage years are important for growth and development

Teenagers are typically energetic, curious, daring and adventurous. They are growing up at this stage and they are no longer afraid to test boundaries and try to assert their independence. Parenting a teenager will come with its own unique set of issues. To do a successful job of steering your teenager into adulthood, you will have to understand the characteristics of teenagers.

Some important characteristics of teenagers:

characteristics of teenagers

Teenagers are going through a period of growth

By growth, we mean that all teenagers are growing physically, emotionally and socially. This maturity also makes them sexually curious and some might even start experimenting. Young people between the ages of 13 – 18 undergo intense hormonal changes in preparation for adulthood.

Girls produce more estrogen around this time and may undergo puberty. The expected physical changes in girls are the onset of menstruation, growing pubic hair and breasts, and a growth spurt that could see them growing up to ten inches taller.

Boys in this age bracket start producing a lot more testosterone. They also grow facial hair and body hair. The growth spurt in teenage boys is a lot more pronounced than for girls. Boys can grow up to 20 inches taller and a lot bigger in size.

Socially, teenagers love to hang out with friends. At this stage of their lives, they are also growing emotionally and psychologically. It is not out of the ordinary for them to experiment with sex, too.

Teenagers are not afraid to test boundaries

Many people believe that one of the characteristics of teenagers includes rebellion and stubbornness, but there is a reason your teenager acts the way he/she does. However, not all teenagers are rebellious. The so-called rebellious ones are not merely out to try your patience.

According to BBC Science, your teenager isn’t behaving badly because they are terrible. They are growing up and trying to create a unique identity for themselves. The problem is that some of their choices may not look too good from an adult standpoint.

If it seems that your teenager is arguing with you too often, you must remember that their moods can swing up and down because they are hormonal-charged. If you remember these characteristics of teenagers, it will be much easier to deal with people in this age bracket.

Teenagers go through a period of intellectual growth

Most teenagers will readily tell you that they are no longer kids. In a sense, they are right. According to this article published in the Healthy Place for Mental Health, young people in the age bracket of 11-18 are able to develop more abstract thought. They also know how to incorporate proper logic into hypotheses. They are now able to think about things that aren’t tied to reality.

At this stage, teenagers often disagree with the points of view of their parents and engage in debates to present their side of the argument.

This intellectual growth will be visible in how the teen handles their school work, social life, and other responsibilities. This intellectual growth notwithstanding, your teenager is still not mature enough to handle a lot of things. For one, they are still impulsive at that age and their decision-making will still be faulty. Simply put, they may not yet develop the ability to think things through.

Teenagers are independent

One of the most important characteristics of teenagers is independence. Teens will have more say in what goes on in the family. They’ll air their opinions in matters ranging from food to clothes all the way to family rules.

Your teenager will act differently from when they were smaller. But you should not see their independence as something negative because they need it to survive in the larger society. It wouldn’t be right for them to depend on parents and guardians for the rest of their lives.

Once you know the characteristics of teenagers, it will be easier for you to just relax and enjoy this phase of their lives.


Resources: NHS

BBC Science

The Healthy Place for Mental Health 


Also Read: How to deal with a bully, according to my bullied 7-year-old



Written by

Julie Adeboye