I think you made some really interesting points in this post. I'm glad that you acknowledge that adolescent deliqnuency is not only "normal" but important for the healthy growth and development of their identity and the transition into adulthood. One must find an indentiy into which they can fit comfortably and with which they feel secure and confident. As Erik Erikson pointed out, it is important for adolescents to experience an "identity crisis". They need to ask themselves important questions such as Who am I? What am I all about? What do I want to do with my life? and How do I want other people to view me? Naturally, as they become older and more independent adolescents want to find the answers to these questions on their own, which explains, at least partially, the rebelliousness you discussed in the posting. Parents, as you mentioned, should support their children during these critical time periods. Grant them more responsibility but engage them in conversations about the implications of such responsibility (i.e., "You want to go on a road trip? Okay fine, How do you plan on getting there safely? What route are you going to take? What if it is closed?") The adolescent will be more likely to meet the parent "half way", so to speak, if the parent permits them more independence.

As I have said numerous times to my mom, who is currently struggling with the day to day hassles of raising a 17 year old girl, the stricter you are, the harder they push. Be authoritative not authoritatian.

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