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Teen in Transition. Impact of a Family Move - Essay Example

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Hayley didn't want to move. It had been hard enough to make the transition from elementary to middle school, especially when many of her friends went to different schools. Now she liked her friends, she liked her school, and she liked her routine. She didn't want to leave the big city for a small town and felt angry with her mother and me for getting a divorce - and out of step with everyone else.
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Teen in Transition. Impact of a Family Move
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Download file to see previous pages Experts consider moving to be one of the major stresses in life. Leaving behind friends, familiar places, and activities creates anxiety for everyone involved - parents included. And it's hard work to pack and prepare for a move and then settle into a new home.
The reasons behind a move may be upsetting, too, and that can add to the stress. A parent may be forced to take a job in a new town because of company layoffs or staff reorganizations. Sometimes a death or divorce in the family can lead to a move, or the family may have to move to take care of a sick family member, such as a grandparent.
Cognitive development refers to the development of the ability to think and reason. Adolescence (between 12 and 18 years of age) marks the beginning development of more complex thinking processes (also called formal logical operations) including abstract thinking (thinking about possibilities), the ability to reason from known principles (form own new ideas or questions), the ability to consider many points of view according to varying criteria (compare or debate ideas or opinions), and the ability to think about the process of thinking.
Research by the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that "the brain goes through a dramatic period of development during puberty." (NIMH) During adolescence the developing teenager acquires the ability to think systematically about all logical relationships within a problem. The transition from concrete thinking to formal logical operations occurs over time. Each adolescent progresses at varying rates in developing his/her ability to think in more complex ways. Each adolescent develops his/her own view of the world.
It is important to keep in mind in the "family moving" scenario that some adolescents may be able to apply logical operations to school work long before they are able to apply them to personal dilemmas. When emotional issues arise, they often interfere with an adolescent's ability to think in more complex ways. The ability to consider possibilities, as well as facts, may influence decision making, in either positive or negative ways.
Like other early adolescents, Hayley has already begun to question authority and society standards prior to our move.
She also has begun to form and verbalize her own thoughts and views on a variety of topics, usually more related to her own life, such as: which sports are better to play.; which groups are better to be included in; what personal appearances are desirable or attractive; and what parental rules should be changed. And, yes, also where it would be better for the family to live.
Sometimes I long for the elementary school-age version of Hayley, when she had strong ties to her family and want to please her parents. The years between 11 and 14 are a transition between childhood and adulthood, and appropriately adolescents begin to feel the psychological urge to become more independent from their families. This is sometimes seen in an all-consuming interest in friends and teen hobbies. Early adolescents tend to form strong solitary, same-sex friendships. Hayley's friends were always coming over in our old neighborhood - city kids tend to run in and out of each other's homes quite a bit. But things are different here in the rural community where we have moved. Even when Hayley does start to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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