Growth and development from 15 to 18 years old


The age of 15-18 is an exciting time in life. But these years can be difficult for teens and their parents. Emotions can change rapidly as teens learn to deal with school, their friends, and the expectations of adults. A teenager’s self – esteem is affected by success in school, sports, and friendships. Teenagers tend to compare themselves to others, and may form misconceptions about their body image. The influence of TV, magazines, and the Internet can contribute to teenagers’ poor body image.

For parents, adolescence is a time to learn to get to know their adolescent child. While teens are maturing, they still need their parents’ love and guidance. Most do well in dealing with the difficulties of being a teenager. However, it is still important that adolescents receive good support from their parents so that they can get through these years with as few problems as possible.

Adolescent development comprises four basic areas:

  • Physical development . Most teens enter puberty by age 15 at the latest. Girls go through a time of rapid growth just before their first menstrual period. And by the time they turn 15, they have almost reached their adult height. Boys generally continue to grow and gain weight throughout their teens.
  • Cognitive development . As adolescents mature, they develop a greater ability to think and understand abstract ideas, such as morality. They also begin to understand other people better. Although they have a certain degree of empathy and can understand that other people have different ideas, they tend to firmly believe that their own ideas are the most successful.
  • Affective and social development . Much of the affective and social growth of adolescents is related to finding their place in the world. They are trying to understand who they are and where they fit in. So it’s normal for your emotions to change from day to day.
  • Sensory and motor development . Boys continue to get stronger and more agile even after they go through puberty. Girls tend to stabilize. Getting plenty of exercise helps improve strength and coordination in boys and girls.

When are routine medical visits needed?

Teens should see their doctor for a routine checkup every year. The doctor will ask your adolescent questions about his life and activities. This helps the doctor check your teen’s physical and mental health. It’s a good idea to give your teen some time alone with his doctor during these visits to talk privately. At each well visit, your teen will also receive any shots (shots) that are needed.

Teenagers should also see the dentist every year.

Teens need an eye exam every 1 to 2 years.

When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your adolescent’s physical or emotional health, such as:

  • Stunted growth.
  • Changes in appetite
  • Problems related to body image.
  • Behavior changes.
  • Missing school or other school-related problems.
  • Consume alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Also, call your doctor if you notice changes in your teen’s friends or relationships, or if you need help talking with your teen.

How can you help your teenager during these years?

Although teens don’t always accept your help, they still need it. Being available and involved in your teen’s life can help your teen avoid risky behaviors. It also helps your teenager grow into a healthy adult. Here are some things you can do:

  • Encourage your teenager to get enough sleep.
  • Talk about body image and self-esteem.
  • Encourage your teen to eat healthy foods and be active.
  • Talk to your teenager about drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.
  • Be ready to address your teen’s concerns and problems.
  • Involve your adolescent in setting household rules and schedules.
  • Keep talking to your teen about dating and sex.
  • Encourage participation in the community (volunteering).
  • Set rules about the use of the media.

Teens really want to know that they can talk honestly and openly with you about their feelings and actions. It is very important for teens to know that you love them no matter what.

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