• Home
  • A UNIQUE Opportunity

A UNIQUE Opportunity

Adolescence is a stage of transition, a time when a young person develops into a maturing young adult. Adolescence may be marked with the onset of puberty, which in some cases can begin as early as 9 years old, whereby girls enter menarche [having their first period] and arguably the adolescent phase can remain well into late teens.

Within this transitional stage of development there are a number of changes going on, physiologically, with noticeable biological changes e.g. growth and body hair etc. In addition there are emotional changes taking place, largely at the mercy of hormones, where moods may swing. The way they think is also changing. A young person going through adolescence may begin to see the world differently and begin to question many things i.e. life, their sense of purpose, decisions, the future and so on.

Also through this period of change a young person may have questions surrounding their spirituality and faith, this again being perhaps a time when they question their future, destiny and purpose.

All of these things combined during the adolescent stage, undoubtedly offer an incredible opportunity to work alongside young people. At this time young people are open to questioning and there is the possibility of helping them explore life and it’s potential as they move and grow through the challenges they may face in preparing for adulthood.Among many questions they may have, relationships and sexuality are going to feature strongly at some point of their adolescent development. The questions they have will vary depending on the young person, each young person being unique with respect to their background, experience, curiosity, friendship circle, educational background and culture.

Approaching the topic of relationships and sexuality requires sensitivity, an openness with a willingness to allow a young person to explore this topic in a positive environment, where the young person feels safe to express their thoughts, opinions and questions.

Your role is a valuable one as you seek to support young people as they navigate through adolescence. Indeed this stage of life, as a transition, is a UNIQUE opportunity to engage on some of the searching questions a young person may have around relationships and their sexual health.

© 2011 Unique NI