There Is A Real Reason Why Your Teen Thinks The World Revolves Around Them!
By Samie McCullough
How many times have you caught yourself saying to your teenager, “The world does not revolve around you!”? Then after making that comment do you wonder why your teen really thinks the whole world is focused on them? Surprisingly, the answer to that question is simple. By the age of 13 egocentrism, which is being self-centered, is coming into full force in your teen’s life. Also, during the adolescent years, teenagers begin to develop a cognitive concept called imaginary audience. Imaginary audience is when teens literally believe that they are the focus of everyone else’s attention and concern. This concept explains a) why they cannot leave the house without looking absolutely perfect and to achieve perfectiveness it may them take several hours, b) why they say they must have a certain item because everyone has this item and if they don’t have it they will be totally uncool, c) why you and your spouse are totally uncool and you tend to be embarrassing to them, and d) why they almost fall completely apart when they are criticized in any way by anybody. During this stage of life for teenagers image in any form is everything to them, because they truly believe the whole world is watching them.
So you are probably wondering what you can do to help your teen through this stage, and quite frankly, what you can do to get through it yourself. The first and most important thing to do is to be patient and remember that this is just a phase for your teenager. Being patient is critical, because it will allow you to relax a little on the crazy behaviors exhibited by your teenager. However, there are two important things to remember in the phase in imaginary audience that will help you survive alive. First, do not hug, kiss, or touch your moody teenager in public. This will be total embarrassment for them, especially in front of their peers. Instead, just remember that they do love you and some day you will get to hug your child again. Second, do not tell them “when I was your age”. This statement will only confirm to your teenager that you do not understand them or their problems. You see, to teenagers their problems are totally different from anyone else’s in the world. The statement “when I was your age” also shows to them that you do not comprehend the seriousness of their situation. So in conclusion the best advice I have to give on your moody teen is this: Hold on, the ride is going to be bumpy.