Dr. Rich Patterson

Blog post 03.21.18

Why Does Being  A Teenager Seem so Difficult?

The different stages we go through in life continue throughout our life, as we are constantly growing and changing physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially-emotionally. So it may seem there must be an arrival point, but in reality, there is not; we are constantly moving and adapting. An effectively lived life is a lot like a cloud. Think of a nice summer day, with a clear blue sky and nice white cumulus clouds floating in the beautiful sky.

If you lie on your back outside, in the soft grass, and look up at the clouds, you see how they are constantly moving, changing, adjusting, combining, merging, and separating, yet staying together somehow. It is helpful to think of your life as the clouds.

You never hear the clouds complaining about having to sit beside someone they do not like or crying out, “I don’t want to merge with that ugly cloud; I want to be by myself.” But in the sometimes harsh realities of life, it doesn’t seem like it works that way when we are in the middle of things. However, we are constantly sensing and adjusting to the various situations we encounter as we move through our day, throughout our developmental periods, which continue throughout our lives.

This feedback can be information you observe about your environment—school, home life, family, parents, step­parents, grandparents, or foster parents.  It can be in the form of feedback, information, or criticism you receive from adult sources, such as family, school, friends—things you notice repeating consistently. For example, if your friends see that you tend to kid around and joke in a man­ner that makes them angry, then the feedback might be that this is something you need to improve about your­self. Another area of consideration is relationships. Some in­dividuals seem to have solid, healthy relationships, created easily.

Some must work at relationships, and others would rather avoid them as much as possible. Which description fits your lifestyle and personality? We can ask ourselves if we need better skills in this area or have a pretty good balance that works who we are now.

Please realize that we all change as we live our lives. Understanding change is meaningful because we will find life very difficult if we are not like the clouds. We’re not always exactly like we are right now; in fact, you’re changing your thoughts, outlook, and disposition by reading this guidebook. Working with relationships can be one of the most challenging aspects of life, and for many of us, families raise that difficulty so much that we require supreme levels of self-control sometimes.

I always say, “Families are the most difficult aspect of life that God gave us.” I am a faith-based person, so when I use God, you may substitute supreme beings, nature spirits, angels, whomever you like to draw strength. It may even be a color, like indigo, which is one of my favorites; I often see an indigo background when I close my eyes.

How can you use these concepts of the clouds and supreme being in your life right now?

How can they give you strength?

How can they help you when you are very frustrated and overwhelmed?

In a related post, I write here about Overcoming Difficulties with Kids, Overcoming Difficulties with Kids – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Psychology Today has an article on 7 Keys to Handling Difficult Teenagers, 7 Keys to Handling Difficult Teenagers | Psychology Today

Yours for Better Parenting,