During the year of adolescence, young people begin their quest to find their identity. This is the time when they are easily influenced and their opinions swayed.
Adolescents try to establish themselves through prestige. They start comparing themselves to everyone else. This causes insecurity and low self-esteem when they find that they may not have the same personality traits or possessions as their peers. Low self-esteem may lead to depression because of the fear of not fitting in which can lead to further disturbing conclusions.
They then imitate those they admire such as celebrities or that popular girl in order to reach the level of perfection set by that model. They want to wear the right clothes, seen with the right possession like the hoverboard.
They strive for acceptance, to be viewed as popular and desired by their peers, while they avoid what is defined as unacceptable like a plague. This may be at the expense of their other peers starting a cycle of insecurity. In doing this they lose their individuality because they are constantly imitating others rather than expressing who they really are.
Oscar Wilde said “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” This quote urges us to forego trying to copy others and just be yourself. Rather than being an individual, they would rather be a face in a crowd.
During this period they want to appear mature. They begin to engage in practices such as smoking, drinking, drugs and sexual activities that are associated with adulthood with the hope of recognition and acceptance.
Teenagers tend to rebel against their parents and authority figures in an effort to demonstrate their separation. They strive to explore their independence while maintaining the acceptance of their peers. However such behavior just further proves their immaturity. Instead it is better to define their maturity as accepting their station in life and acting appropriately.
Within the family, teenagers also want their own identity. Teens yearn for support relationships in their families. In order to be loved uniquely, they may begin to take up specific identities such as the academic, comedian or the athlete. So it is also a problem that starts from home.
I personally think children should not be loved according to their merits but rather they should be given the unconditional love.
In order to discover ones identity firstly, they need to know what is important to them. In order to express what is important to them they, need self-integrity. They need to find out what their truth is, so that their truth is not easily swayed by public opinion. They say until you decide who you are you will be like a chameleon, blending in to whatever situation or whoever you are with.
Secondly, they need to understand their worth in Christ. When they understand their worth in Christ they can reject any negative thinking, insecurities and problems hurled at them.
They can come to understand that when they fail, it does not mean they are a failure. Teens develop confidence when they believe they are loved by God no matter what. Agape love.
This knowledge would give them strength to battle peer pressure and trials that would come in their way during their self-discovery. They can also influence their peers as well.