Puberty is unavoidable – and necessary

Puberty is unavoidable – and necessary

Educator Jörg Undeutsch has a website with a helpful introduction and lots of resources for parents. He writes: «Puberty is a necessary step in a child’s development. It is a phase of individualisation, more important than ever in a time when each individual is expected to find his or her own way, mission, and place in the world. Puberty doesn’t express itself to the same extent in all teenagers. Don’t be unsettled by what appears to be particularly boisterous or difficult behaviour – in most cases, it is quite ‹normal›, though it may be hard to cope with. Generally, we Need to be less concerned about teenagers who are noisy and cheeky than about those who are not. Teenagers themselves don’t even understand what is happening inside of them. It is confusing, unsettling – and fascinating at the same time.»

Internationally renowned psychologist Allan Guggenbühl once called puberty a joyride into the nether world of one’s own unconscious. Fantasies, aggression and passion flare up in ways that are not considered socially acceptable. Teenagers meet the good and the evil in themselves and are fascinated by both. The ethical rules that favour one and reject the other are not (yet) their own rules. They are still developing their own ethics. The objectionable is at least interesting – and empowering. Power is what teenagers need to find their own way and assert themselves. As teenagers struggle to find their own identity, everything else becomes irrelevant. Teens view the world and everyone in it in a thoroughly subjective way.

Switzerland

Addresses and links

Book Recommendations

„Achtung, Teenager! Jugendliche verstehen, fördern und fordern“

by Sarah Zanoni, Beobachter Verlag, 2010

Pubertät - Loslassen und Haltgeben“

by Jan-Uwe Rogge, rororo Verlag, 2010

"Jugendjahre, Kinder durch die Pubertät begleiten"

by Remo H. Largo and Monika Czernin, Piper Verlag, 2011

"Pubertät - wenn Erziehen nicht mehr geht. Gelassen durch stürmische Zeiten"

by Jesper Juul, Kösel Verlag, 2010