Our adolescent children and their behaviours

Our adolescent children and their behaviours

We often come to believe, not always true, that our children live in protected environments, away from the ugliness and selfishness of the outside world. The truth is that our children and adolescents are much more in contact with that reality than we might imagine.


Social networks bring them closer to the world of drugs, sexuality, gambling, provoking very different reactions in them; what has been identified as violence against themselves: such is the case of anorexias, states of anxiety, addictions… or violence against others such as bullying, cyberbullying, sexting…


Adolescence, which is starting earlier and earlier in some aspects, should not make us forget that our children still need the guidance, control and framework of the adults around them. The role of the family and teachers are of vital importance in building a world of values in which integrity, commitment and respect for oneself and others are fundamental to personal development.


We tend to believe that, by nature, our children will learn these values instinctively. However, we know that childhood and adolescence are stages of cruelty that are not always limited or self-regulated, of personal insecurity, of the search for a place in the “world”, which is often achieved at the expense of others or of themselves in order to gain a misunderstood popularity among their peers.


And just like this belief, we also think that the school is the place where these attitudes can be completely redirected. The school opens up spaces for dialogue and prevention workshops that allow us to identify risk situations, which, due to their idiosyncrasies, do not usually occur in the school environment but rather outside  the classroom, but it is in true communication, alignment and complementarity where we find the most positive results.  


Family interventions are key in terms of the emotional impact on adolescents. Children care about what their families think; whether or not they disappoint them with their actions; whether or not they live up to expectations.  We appeal to family dialogue, to ask our children to explain themselves, to tell us what they say and do and how they relate inside and outside the school, and to create a space for family dialogue in which adolescents can expose their fears and in which adults can set clear limits in accordance with family values.


Encounters and misunderstandings are bound to happen, but we all know that coming  together is what makes it possible to open the door to the intervention of the family and what projects us in their minds as a point of reference.


Adolescence is a time of experimentation, and it is normal for it to be so, as long as the adolescent is able to think: ….”. If they see me at home…” which would mean that they know where the limits and expectations of their behaviour are.


In short, education is a joint task in which each party plays a role that is not always easy, but in the end, it is very rewarding. 


Patricia Carranza

Director St. Paul’s School Barcelona

Sport Camp 2024 is now closed, we hope to see you next year!

Summer School 2024 is now full, we hope to see you again next year!