As children develop, they begin to model the existential angst that comes from their inability to conform to the conditioning inherent within the paradigm of our social and cultural conditioning.
It begins with emerging adolescence and the dawn of meta-cognition when the individual begins to experience conformity as an equivalent to death.
Without realizing it, they are defending their right to exist beyond the boundaries and confinement of this conditioning that projects onto them that their inability to conform is evidence of some inherent flaw that will limit their ability to be successful in getting their physical and emotional needs met throughout the course of their lifetime.
What is being reflected back to them from their environments is negating them and challenging their ability to be in integrity with themselves in response to the distorted messages and unrealistic expectations being projected onto them.
Adolescence trying to function within the paradigm of this conditioning is a perfect storm which is why this stage of development is often defined by drama and crisis.
If we, as adults, were able to recognize the degree to which we are influenced by our own imprinting and subsequent conditioning we would be much better equipped to parent, teach, and mentor this most critical and dynamic stage of development.
Our teenagers are our ‘truth tellers’ and we have much to learn from them if we could only allow ourselves to listen and accept them without feeling the need to defend our position.
Copyright 2015, Kate O'Connell, LPC
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