If you think back to your teenage years, you probably have many good and bad memories. Many people enjoy going through middle and high school because these are formative years where you discover who you are. On the other hand, lots of people have memories of being bullied or struggling to make friends. If you have a teenager in your house, you will probably find that your relationship with him or she will change significantly during those years. While you need to give your teenager space, you need to be aware of what they are going through. What are a few of the top signs that your teenager might be going through an identity crisis?
1. Your Teenager Has a Rapidly Shifting Friend Group
Especially if your teenager does not yet drive, you will probably know who their friends are. They will probably be at the house regularly, and you might talk to their parents at school functions. If you find that your teenager is no longer mentioning certain people, this is a sign that their friendships might be rapidly changing. This is a sign of an identity crisis in many situations. Your teen’s friends reflect their identity because they will want to hang out with people with similar values. If your teenager has a friend group that is a bit hard to pin down, it could be a sign of an identity crisis.
2. Trouble Sleeping at Night
It is not exactly a secret that teenagers love to sleep. You might even have a difficult time getting your teenager out of bed before noon. If your teenager is having a hard time sleeping at night, this could be a sign of an identity crisis. Now, you might have difficulty figuring out if your teenager is having difficulty sleeping. When people have a hard time sleeping, including teenagers, they tend to stay in bed but roll around a lot. You might have to wait and see if your teenager still appears tired even after spending ten to 12 hours in bed. If that is the case, they might be going through an identity crisis.
3. Shifting Interests and an Unwillingness To Stick With Something
Your teenager probably has a lot of extracurricular activities going on. They might play a musical instrument, participate in sports, and do community service. When teens have an identity crisis, they want to switch activities all of a sudden, or they might want to drop something because they suddenly find joy or pleasure in it. Teenagers are still trying to find their interests, and there is nothing wrong with trying something new; however, if you find that your teenager suddenly drops everything to pick up a bunch of new activities, it could be a sign of an identity crisis.
4. An Abrupt Shift in Dress Habits
You should pay attention to how your teenager dresses. Unless there is a uniform code at school, teens will have a lot of freedom in what they wear. If you find that your teenager suddenly changes how they dress, and there is no special occasion, it might signify an identity crisis. This is particularly true if something permanent changes, such as new hair color or style. If your teenager asks to get a tattoo, this is also a sign of an identity crisis.
5. The Development of Mental Health Issues
Finally, you also need to keep your eyes open for a sign that your teenager is developing mental health issues. These are incredibly common among teenagers, with some of the most common examples being depression, anxiety, and substance abuse issues. If your teenager has a sudden shift in eating, sleeping, or exercising habits, it might be a sign of mental health issues and an identity crisis. This is something that needs to be addressed by a trained professional.
Make Sure To Work on Your Relationship With Your Teenager
There are a lot of signs that could indicate that your teenager is going through an identity crisis. While you should make sure that your teenager has some space to develop their independence, you are still the parent, and your teenager still loves and respects you. From time to time, have a productive conversation with your teenager and show that you care about what is happening in their life. As long as you are respectful, attentive, and nonjudgmental, you should still be able to help your teenager through this significant part of their life.
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