What is it about adolescence that makes it such a challenging time? Most adults, when reflecting back on their teen years, agree they’d prefer to skip over that time in their lives. The stress of social issues, peer pressure, identity, and developing a healthy separation from parents are all thrown into the mix – and all at the same time. Add academics, hormonal and mood changes, emerging sexuality, depression, and greater use of drugs/alcohol, the teen years can prove to be one of the most difficult periods for a young adult.
For teens who joined their families through adoption, there are some added challenges. Thoughts regarding birth family. Concern about life after high school. Transitions. Saying good-bye. Relationships. Identity. Increased racial awareness. Some of the adopted teens I’ve worked with have shared that the greatest conflicts faced during adolescence centers on two questions: “Who am I?” and “Where do I belong?”