Adolescence, or puberty is the period between 10 and 20 years of age. Children start having physical and emotional changes secondary to the hormones, progesterone and estrogen in girls, and testosterone in boys.
The transition from Childhood to Adulthood is not easy for them or for the parents. Parents have been in control of their lives, time and friends. Now, they relate to fashion, want to experiment and they spend more time with their friends than with their family.
Adolescents are exposed to tremendous amounts of information from television, Internet, radio, school and friends. They may talk about sex, pregnancy, homosexuality, smoking, alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, it is very common that teenagers have inaccurate information.
If parents do not have a good relationship and dialogue with their children, this will be the last opportunity to get close to them. They soon will be finishing college and starting their own family.
It's very common to feel uncomfortable to start a conversation about sex, alcohol, drugs, sexually transmitted disease, and contraception. Just remember, you were in similar situations at that age, but in a different generation. It is never too late to talk to your adolescent as a friend and not as a parent.
If you do not feel confident talking about these topics, read and ask the professionals how to do it. This will show them that they are the most important part of your life and you want to help them.
Adolescence is a decisive stage in the development of the adult, with moral values, perserverance and optimism. If you can show them that life has difficult times, but they can always come to you for information, advice and comfort, they will not get lost in alcohol or drugs, or people that will take advantage of their emptiness.