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Adolescence, that no man's land between childhood and adulthood, appears to be a territory populated by sometimes beneficial and sometimes evil spirits.

Magical thinking

Magical thinking, especially in early adolescence, reigns supreme. Boys and girls believe that their willpower and talents are not responsible for the results they achieve, but that they are due to luck or bad luck.

Academic success

Academic success, the ability to solve everyday problems, as well as the search for friendship and love, all depend on the cause and effect links the young person manages to establish.

And this is not obvious when you consider that many adults still feel that "life is unfair" and that good news and bad news are the product of luck or bad luck.

To run your life, you have to gain power over it. It is thus, and only thus, that one can discover the strategies which lead to success and which allow one to feel competent in one's life.

The adolescent needs role models in order to project himself into the future.

The adolescent and his heroes One of the important tasks of the adolescent is to find his personal identity.

According to Peter Blos, to achieve this the young must “de-idealize” his parents.

And it must be said that he does not deprive himself of it! The teenager quickly sees the contradictions between the values ​​his parents claim and the actions they take.

Realizing the imperfections of his parents, he sets out in search of heroes, role models or ideal beings.

Subsequently, he will also criticize these characters who will in turn prove to be imperfect and he will create an ideal of his own. This ideal will be more or less realistic, but it will allow him to project himself into the future.

According to Gérard Lutte, the qualities most sought after by young people are autonomy, intelligence, willpower and self-confidence.

It is precisely these qualities that allow greater independence! However, boys and girls do not identify with the same types of people. Boys model socially successful 25 to 30-year-old men who are ambitious, courageous and determined.

Girls, for their part, identify with women of 19 or 20, who are free, have professions that allow them to be in contact with other people and who are appreciated for their sensitivity, sociability and tolerance.

The Need to "De-idealize" Parents

The Need to "De-idealize" Parents; There are sure to be differences between your teenager's perception of you (his father, his mother) when he was little and how he thinks he is today. Either way, you realize that it is not easy to be a role model for your teenager.

Ask yourself if you are a role model for your teenager:

  • honesty
  • integrity
  • patience
  • creativity
  • working
  • perseverance
  • health
  • generosity
  • altruism
  • understanding
  • aesthetics
  • sweetness
  • self-control
  • of pleasure
  • sociability
  • intelligence
  • harmony
  • sensuality

You are very likely to find that you are a role model in certain areas, but that you also have certain weaknesses that you should not hesitate to talk about in order to improve yourself.

It is quite normal for a teenager to criticize his parents and find that they have shortcomings. But this is difficult to accept, especially for parents who lack self-confidence.

It must be understood that a teenager who cannot "de-idealize" his parents cannot continue his development in a harmonious way.

He will long remain dependent, in terms of self-esteem, on the approval of adults in positions of authority.

The teenager must be successful

Good self-esteem requires knowledge of one's skills, qualities and talents. This allows you to take the necessary means to pursue your personal goals; it is also essential to be successful in what one sets out to do.

Anyone can achieve their goals if they are clear, accessible and realistic, and if they also adopt positive attitudes and effective strategies. Adolescents, for their part, face many challenges and those of school life are not the least.

Goals to pursue: It is important to discuss with your child the goals he is pursuing in the short, medium and long term in order to help him in his academic progress.

Discuss freely with your youngster his ambitions, his goals and his capacities without passing judgment and especially without imposing your own expectations.

The first thing to do is let him know that he has skills, qualities and talents that he can use to meet many challenges. Also, be sure to tell him that he will encounter many difficulties and obstacles on his way.

All adolescents are called upon to make choices that will influence their future life, especially on the professional level. It is therefore important that every young person has a perspective for the future.

For this, the adolescent must learn to define himself in relation to fields of activity in which he could exercise his talents as an adult:

• arts (drama, visual art, music, photography);

• literature (writing, translation, library science);

• administration and business (sales, finance, insurance);

• communications (journalism, public relations);

• education (teaching, remedial education);

• human relations (psychology, social work, guidance);

• health (medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy);

• sciences (engineering, chemistry, biology);

• technical (electricity, carpentry, plumbing, IT).

Ask yourself 

Then ask yourself if your young person's choice seems realistic to you, if you consider that their preferences correspond to their capacities. It is very important to discuss their motivations with your child.

It is also necessary to point out to him, using concrete examples, the interests, skills and talents that he exhibited during his childhood and which he still demonstrates in everyday life.

On the other hand, your youngster must understand that achieving their ambitions will be the fruit of a long learning process.

It is only after going through several stages and achieving transitional (short and medium term) goals that he will achieve his goal.


How do you motivate a teenager in school? 

How Do I Motivate My Teen?

pubmed 2

DUCLOS, Germain. L’estime de soi, un passeport pour la vie. Montréal: Éditions de l’Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 2000. 117 p.


ACKER, Vincent. Ados, comment les motiver: la méthode Gordon appliquée à la motivation scolaire. Alleur: Marabout, 2000. 279 p.

Duclos, Germain L’estime de soi des adolescents