CHARACTERISTICS OF ADOLESCENCE General Changes During Adolescence: - Rapid physical growth Confused by physical changes Curious about final outcome of physical changes Rebellion against home/parents Rebellion against home/parents Vacillation between considerable maturity and childishness Absorption with close friend (s) of same age and sex Moodiness, sloppiness, and disorder Establishing independent self: “Who am I?” “What kind of a person am I?” Acute body – consciousness Appearance of sexual maturity Skin problems Middle Adolescence (14-16) Experimentation - Drinking, drugs, smoking, and sexual experimentation are often of the highest interest Risk-Taking - Have little concept of cause and effect - Perceived omnipotence and invulnerability are the rule - Unable to link drinking with auto accidents, pregnancy, or STDs Striving for Independence - Strong need to strive for independence and autonomy - Frequent conflicts with parents, need confrontation and resolution - Parental conflicts are normal and necessary - Confide in other adolescents Late Adolescence (17-19) 1. Rebellious and Moody 2. Concerned with personal appearance 3. Interested in opposite sex 4. Ego identity established – “Where do I fit into the world?” 5. Growth subsides: full statue nearly attained 6. Sleep and food requirements approach adult level 7. Prefer companionship when eating 8. Need acceptance by society, in job, and in college Communication Barriers with Adolescence A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Commonly distrust adults and authority Question whether adults actually listen to, or understand their feelings Limit communication to avoid revealing their vulnerabilities Typically fearful of adults asking questions Intent upon preserving their privacy Wish to be treated with respect and trust as young adults Distrust parental involvement, as they fear punitive consequences may result Relationship Considerations Part of relating to your mentee will be learned through trial and error in the relationship, but there are also factors for you to consider beforehand. - How do I perceive myself in the many roles a mentor plays? How well do I understand the mentee’s overall expectation for our mentoring relationship? In general, is my communication with him/her effective, including my nonverbal and verbal communication? What is my objective in this conversation? Have I made assumptions in this conversation? Do I give him/her enough time to respond or ask questions? If I think I have been misunderstood, can I clarify and paraphrase? Am I willing to set aside my agenda to listen to his/her at any time?