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Adolescence is the period between childhood and adulthood; it normally begins mostly at age of twelve years and runs through to around age nineteen. Adolescence is a word that originated from the Latin verb adolescere, which can be translated to mean "growing into adulthood." Although some people might experience it either at an early age or at a later age. During this early stage of adolescence, it is known as puberty. During this period, there are so many discoveries in social life, which helps in handling moral issues. Cognitive is a development process on how one thinks, makes decision, solves problems, and remembers all the way from childhood through adolescence to adulthood (Huitt and Hummel, 1998). This essay will concentrate on the various ways that the adolescent reasons when with friends and when alone, how they relate with their peers and the society in general. It shall also focus on how to assist these young adults overcome some of the setbacks so that they can grow to be reasonable citizens in future.
The adolescent age is sometimes also referred to as the teenage. Mostly because it starts and ends during the teen age and ends during later teen age. It is believed that the way the adolescent thinks usual happens in different stages during early adolescence. The way the adolescent thinks moves from concrete operational thought, which means that the individual uses the mental process transform changes from events to objects to formal operational thought, which means that now they can use operation to interfere with thoughts (Piaget, 1980).
Adolescence stage is normally characterized by a huge quest for independence in way of thinking and solving problems and facing situations. These children should be able to realize clear concepts, such as philosophy and values and attitudes. Throughout this stage in life, children should be able to learn and apply general information required to adjust to various situations. They should also be taught some information on real life issues and the required talents to tackle them. They should know what kind of friends to have and what they should focus on when they are out of school. Compared to children, the adolescents' way of reasoning are more complicated, sophisticated and generally effective. They can now handle more complicated situation and even reason out before taking an action.
At this point in the life of the child, they also must learn how to form close relationships for both companionship and love. The development of this ability depends on the resolution of other stages. It might not be easy for one to get into an intimate relationship if they have not yet developed trust or knowledge of who they are. If this skill is not learned, the alternative is hostility, isolation, a fear of commitment, rejection and the lack of trust to others. This makes the child have low self-esteem, which may affect him or her even later in life.
According to the formal operation thought, there are several talents or skills involved. First, the ability to psychologically multitask that is to handle more than one task at the same time. During this period of age between 11 and 12 years, they learn how to handle more than one task at the same time. For example of this child can now challenge his or her mind by thinking of the duration a journey is going to take by calculating the distance compared to the speed. When you want to set for a journey they do not get to anxious to reach since they know it is going a certain amount of time. This shows that the way of thinking is now maturing compared to some years ago. Then follows the ability to visualize different scenarios of events. For instance, the child can now have imagination on how or what they want to become in future.
The other ability is the ability to predict some end results of an action. For instance an individual realizes that incase they do not do homework and be attentive in school, they will eventually fail their exams. Alternatively, that incase they perform well in school they are going to become celebrities; therefore they can start to do their best in order to be recognized. The next talent or skill is the ability to reason progressively or notice some inconsistency in a sentence. An example is that they may start questioning some issues they never used to notice some years ago. Lastly, the other talent is the ability to think of themselves and the environment around them. They start reasoning as to whom they are and how to relate to the world around them, what impact they have for the world around them. They also have so much attachment with their peers and what these peers think of them (Piaget, 1980).
These formal operation thoughts can be enhanced by several factors. These factors include: The relationships in which this child interacts with during this period, the parents, the uncles, aunties, cousins and other close relatives. They influence the child by the different requirements or anticipation they require this child to have. How they want the teenager to behave and relate with them matters a lot. The child is given different roles and is expected to perform to their standards, which may not be realistic to the child. For instance, a girl child will be expected to act as the mother of the house by assisting in the house chores. Some people may be seeing that they are not performing to their expectation forgetting that these are yet to become adults. At the end of the day, the teenager feels confused because they find that they neither fit in as an adult nor are they children anymore.
The other factor is the surrounding that this child interacts with frequently. This may include a mixed group of friends at school, which may be made up of children from different backgrounds for example religious background, social background and so on. They may influence the child in various ways. Lastly on the environmental issues is the school syllabus. The school syllabus may provide very challenging and complicated academic environment, which will require the child to have different theoretical skills, which are profitable to the student in the end (Newman, 2006).
During the adolescence stage the individual also faces issues of setting goals own his or her own. The see it as fun and very enjoyable and make substantial improvement in their lives. While setting their own goals they feel very independent and have a feeling of owning the results incase they achieve the ultimate goal that in turn gives them self-esteem. This means that they will relate well with others and with the environment. Since this individual is neither a child any more, they have their own way of setting their goals, which is completely different to the way they used to reason some years ago.
They will start competing with the friends in doing many things like having the best handwriting, attaining the best results in schoolwork and even in other extra curricular activities. They will start to realize their talents and work towards improving and perfecting these talents. They will also realize that their environment needs to be clean and well kept, thus they will have their rooms made and even decorate with their role models photos all around since they want to live their lives like this models.
They will focus their attention on hitting their goals and this will influence their lifestyle. For example, an adolescent child will want to be like a certain politician or a musician, and then he or she will work out to make sure that what ever they do they want to be like that role model. Their goal is to be like that person, they will know they way this person lives his or her life, which perfume the model uses and what type of car he or she drives. This can also have positive influence to their academics performance since they will work towards improving their grades to be able to live such a lifestyle in future (Newman, 2006).
On the other hand, it can also influence them negatively, because they might forget other values of life and only focus in attaining way they think is good to them. In actual sense, this individual is not yet an adult and therefore still requires to be assisted in so many areas. Incase they have set their goals to some negative issues, it will not be possible to correct them since they see you as old fashioned and does not know what is currently taking place. However, if guided nicely this individual can set positive goals, which they can work very well to towards attaining it.
It is important to know how to assist these individuals especially during the early ages of indolence from age 7 to 8 in setting their goals and working towards attaining the set goals. There are several steps to be taken into consideration in assisting them, these include: First start by working with them to create an action-oriented goal, which can be achieved within a week. This is to say that within the next seven days these goals should be achieved. In this child's point of view seven days is good time to work because it does not take too long for them. This will give them enough time to prove their talent with variety of actions. Secondly, you can help them realize on how to work towards achieving the set goal, for example let them know if they want to achieve the set goal, what can they do right now or this very day in order to achieve the set goal. They should put it down on pen and paper and work towards ensuring that it is achieved as it has been set. This will help the child know how to work towards the goal. Thirdly, they can be assisted to know after knowing what to do today, and then they should think about what they will do tomorrow. By focusing on tomorrow, this child will have an opportunity to think about the future. Even though tomorrow may seem to be so near, this young adolescent may not be having any idea on what may take place tomorrow. Thinking ahead will automatically make their brain a focus point. This is very important because they are now learning how to water the seed of idea, which they have planted, and nurturing it (Wadsworth, 2003).
The fourth step now depending on this child's way of reasoning and attitude after conveying his responses thinking about what will happen tomorrow. They should now know on how to work for the next one-week or the next seven day. Taking one day at time, letting they work on their daily achievements, they can now focus on the whole week.. The whole idea of focusing on seven days in the future is to use the impetus this child has generated in the first two days to push him or her forward towards the achieving the goal successfully.
Lastly, you should be able to celebrate the achievement. This is very important since it gives the child morale towards working in achieve more goals in the future. It gives this young one sense of winning and becoming a grown up. When you focus in achieving goals, wonderful things take place. This does not call for big celebration; just a pat on the back can make a whole difference. Let them know that you appreciate their effort in attaining the goal. Through little, consistent achievements help this child have a sense of independence.
Another factor that is worth of pointing at is moral reasoning. During adolescence stage, so many changes take place in the child's body, way of thinking and reasoning. They have learnt on how to have friends and what type of friends to walk with incases they want to improve their grades and so on. Friends form the biggest part in their lives at this point in life. These friends may influence their lives in very many ways, either positively or negatively. The environment also plays such an important role in shaping this child's life in general. This can be noticed in the way the child is reasoning. The friends may be involved in certain behaviors, which this child may look and notice that they should divert from such behavior very fast. In as much as the child would like to have self esteem, they will have to reason ethically to be able to fit in (Fieldman, 2006).
According to Kohlberg's theory of moral development, there are three major stages involved in moral reasoning. This is an expansion on the cognitive development. These stages include conventional pre-conventional, conventional and lastly post-conventional. All this stages shows how the ability to reason in this child develops. First of all the first stage, which is known as pre-conventional stage, is when they depend on what they think is good for themselves. Here the child will not involve another party in making a decision. Although their reasoning is mostly wrong, they have a feeling that they are on the rights.
Secondly, the child will take advice from a close relative or teacher and then use their thoughts to conclude. For example, they can be corrected that involving themselves with certain group of friends will spoil their image in the society. The adolescent will first think about what they have been told and weigh with the impact of losing the friends or not being in the group. At this point, the adolescent can now reason and see what to opt for.
Lastly is the pre-conventional stage is where they can now reason and make logical conclusions on their own. For example, they look and the consequences involved and reason and chose wisely to avoid being found in problem. They can, at this stage, decide to stay at home and do the homework rather than joining the other friends for an adventure elsewhere. The young adult also starts to realize that if they work hard in school to improve their grades, they will be liked by the parents and the teachers.
In conclusion, the adolescent stage has so many challenges and requires so much guidance and counseling for these young adults to be able to make successful decisions in their life. They own the future and incase they are not assisted properly they can trash their lives completely.
Even though it is commonly known that, a child's reasoning ability is determined by a mixture of genetics and environmental factors. That is to say that, even though it is possible to change the hereditary factors, there is surely a way that parents can improve their child's intellectual development through environmental factors. They can provide inspiring learning environment by transferring their own experiences, train this children so that they can be able to reasonable citizens when they grow up. By doing so the children discover their talents and work towards improving at an early age.
The teenagers or the adolescences will be able to develop with their age mates and reason properly. This helps them become more responsible, accountable and generally reasonable children in the society. They know how to relate to others, the challenges in the society and make realistic decisions. By supporting your child from early age, this will assist the child in developing and growing steadily in the cognitive development. This also helps the parents or teacher know more about the child and create an environment where the child feels accepted and understood therefore it is easy for the teenager to open up even more (Fieldman and Elliott, 2006).
The adolescent period can be very challenging and confusing if not properly advised and prepared for. The teenagers should be prepared in advance for the challenges ahead of them by their parents and other people in the society like the school and church. The teenagers should be involved in activities that open their eyes to what they should be facing as time progresses on. These activities and or programs should help them also make friends and exchange ideas with other teenagers from different social backgrounds, different races, different religions so that they can accept them selves and know how to relate with others of the same age brackets with them. These activities and programs will also help them recognize who they are and what they want to be in future.