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THE ADOLESCENT YEARS

One important thing to always bear in mind when dealing with Adolescents or teenagers is that they like their privacy and want to be autonomous. A lot of them have a sense of invincibility at this age due to the tremendous amount of hormones and energy that circulate in their bodies. Most of them lack real life experience due to their young age and so are frequently vulnerable.

 Adolescent: 12-18 years

This special group has their own needs and vulnerability. Knowing these will help any parent or guardian be more prepared in protecting the child and if missing, will help identify the child’s weaknesses.

At this developmental age children reach

  1. puberty
  2. Express pubescent growth. Spurt growth starts at age 10 in girls and 13 in boys
  3. The kid grows stronger. The girls add on more fat
  4. Rapid body change
  5. Start forming emotional relationships
  6. Motor skills well developed especially fine motor-ability to hold tiny stuff with the thumb and index finger
  7. Like trying new sport activity while increasing muscle mass
  8. May lack good coordination during growth spurts
  9. Understands most concepts or justice, beauty, power
  10. Spends time reading, thinking and abstract ideas trying to figure stuff out
  11. Can think independently – rebel against parents
  12. Most important task at this age is establishing identity – who am I? Peer group is the most important group to focus activities and is very important in establishing identity

Sexuality:

Adolescents reach:

  1. physical sexual maturity due to response to tremendous amount of circulating hormones
  2. Form relationships with opposite sex, with some having intercourse. Sex education is important at this stage

teenagers

 Injuries & prevention

The most common injuries (75%) in adolescents are sustained from:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents(MVA)
  2. Homicide(death from being killed by someone else, commonly from another adolescent)
  3. Suicide(death from being killed by oneself)

Other causes of injuries are:

  1. Drowning
  2. Sport injuries

The above are some of the general characteristics of a normal adolescent with individual variations.

The first thing is to understand what and how an adolescent is growing in order to protect them from problems.

As stated above, at this age the adolescent is very involved with peer group who may become the most important group that the adolescent is loyal to.

Therefore it is important to know an adolescent’s friends, where they hang out, what kinds of activities they may be involved in etc.

I mean, it is important to have all contact information of close peers on record just in case something happens and a parent or guardian has to locate a child.

One thing that is very important when searching for a lost child is that you, the searcher, must make it a point of duty to protect yourself from harm so that you’ll be available to look for the kid.

Seek help early. As soon as you suspect that a child is missing, contact law enforcement(police).

Law enforcement works to protect the public but remember that the main burden lies on the parent or family member. You must be on top of things so that your case is not shelved off sight.

Next, locate your list of child’s friends and family contacts and start calling or contacting them. Check child’s school. Set alarm in motion. Do not be intimidated to keep silent. Let others help you by alerting everyone you can reach. It is better to have your child back than be concerned about the stigma of being worried. I know, the kid may even revolt on your constant concerns, but that is really the cost of parenting or bonding. So, you cannot rest, you cannot stop until the end good is met. Give your child a chance to mature enough to care for her/himself.