It’s often a rollercoaster

There are naturally lots of ups & owns AND you will be pulled in different directions – between childhood & adulthood.  It can be exciting and scary.

There will sometimes be excitement and sometimes anxiety – sometimes achievements and sometimes failures or setbacks – sometimes feelings of being connected and sometimes feeling unconnected – sometimes clarity and sometimes confusion.

You expect to experience lots of ups and downs.  Some ups and downs are big and some are little.  Some last a long time and some are fleeting.  Sometimes you will experience an “up” in one part of your life and a “down” in another.  Understanding that these ups and downs are normal and natural is important.  It is also important to get increasing good at managing these ups and downs.

Successes and Setbacks

You can expect to have successes and you can expect to experience disappointments and setbacks and have to recover.  The teenage journey has so many ways to be tested and so much unknown to deal with that the setbacks are inevitable – just part of the journey, not an indication that you are failing.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.  Winston Churchill


You Will be Pulled Between Childhood & Adulthood

You can expect to experience two different gravities.  One gravity is the gravity of childhood, which tries to pull you back into the old ways. The other gravity is the gravity of adulthood, which tries to pull you into becoming a young adult.  The childhood gravity gets weaker as you get older, but it will be a factor throughout your teenage years.  As you get older the adult gravity gets stronger and helps draw you into young adulthood.

These two competing gravities come with the territory – it’s natural and inescapable.  Everyone experiences it, but everyone will experience it in his or her own way.  It’s one of the reasons that being a teenager can be so confusing.  It’s also one of the reasons that the teen years can be so confusing and frustrating for parents.

The Roller Coaster of Emotions

There are so many emotions at play in the teenage years – and often at intense levels – that it can feel pretty chaotic at times.  You can experience excitement and anxiety, clarity and confusion, feeling connected and feeling disconnected, happiness and sadness, hope and despair, affection and anger, etc.  Adults experience the same emotions, but usually not in such a changeable fashion.

There is a stunning range of emotions, so samples are provided below just to provide some vocabulary for the conversations.  You can safely assume that you will experience many, if not most, of these emotions at different points on the journey.  Often there will be a mix of emotions happening at the same time.

For example, you can feel:

  1. Angry
  2. Excited
  3. Fearful
  4. Anxious
  5. Hopeful
  6. Depressed
  7. Annoyed
  8. Thrilled
  9. Frustrated
  10. Despairing
  11. Curious
  12. Confused
  13. Exhilarated
  14. Wonder
  15. Small
  16. Energized
  17. Lost
  18. Connected
  19. Powerful
  20. Defeated
  21. Disconnected
  22. Disoriented
  23. Inspired
  24. Disenchanted
  25. Discouraged
  26. Alone
  27. Relieved
  28. Stupid
  29. Smart
  30. Wise
  31. Worthless
  32. Calm
  33. Tired
  34. Rejected
  35. Accepted

Note.  This list is particularly important for teenage boys, as boys usually do not naturally come equipped with the same emotional vocabulary – that is true.  Being able to identify feelings matters.