The teen years are hard on both kids and their parents, and astrology can explain why growing pains are so difficult.
For most of us, we chalk it up to hormones and middle school, and while, of course, this is true, there is a very real astrological influence here as well.
The Astrology Of Adolescence
People are often more familiar with the returns of a natal planet being significant to our path in terms of growth and healing like Chiron, Jupiter and especially Saturn.
But there is a whole astrology pattern that makes up why adolescence in general is often filled with boundary testing, verbally speaking out and even unmoral behavior.
Why Teen Years Are So Hard For Both Kids & Parents
This begins with the first phase during their Jupiter Return
Jupiter Return starts in the tween years
The first Jupiter occurs during ages 11-13.
During this time, we look for mentors or those that we can mirror the behavior of and look up to.
It’s also a time where we will look to find our place within our family. If of course our family is moving through challenging situations, then that will affect how stable we feel during this precursor to the next phase.
Adolescents crave inspiration during this time and often retreat to the fantasy worlds of books or movies as they try to find their own inspiration or magic within themselves.
This is about finding meaning, both externally and internally.
During this phase it’s important to expose our kids to as many different experiences or cultures whether through travel or done locally.
It’s crucial to have them find their own sense of meaning before they enter that pivotal phase around age fourteen otherwise, they are more sensitive to participate in troubling or rebellious behavior.
As parents though or fabulous aunties, we can help the adolescents and teens in our lives move through these astrological phases by not only being aware of what’s going on beneath the surface of that slammed door but by knowing the best way to interact and help them.
It often seems like we dub teenagers as a species with their own sayings that we don’t know what’s going on or that we don’t know how to reach them but this is in fact the first lesson the astrology of the teen year teaches.
As much as we may be responsible for teaching them to do their homework to clean their room-we’re also responsible for teaching them how to use their voice and beliefs in a constructive and beneficial way.
Because while of course it’s challenging to parent a teen who doesn’t yet know how to operate in the new social world their entering, it’s also our responsibility to not limit who they are simply because their going about their lessons differently than we did.
But it’s also about expectation.
If we assume that the teen years are going to be bad, then they will.
If we can instead understand that they will mirror any other relationship in our life, both good days and bad, lessons and laughter then we can move through this phase with them without taking their own individual path personally.
Transiting Saturn opposition to natal Saturn starts in the teen years.
This is important as they head into the second phase, their Saturn opposition.
Ah the Saturn Opposition, the little-known astrological event that occurs during ages 14-16 which is responsible for the behavior that we often try to curb or at the very least shake our heads at.
An opposition is when their natal Saturn forms an opposition to the current Saturn placement causing them to enter a phase of questioning.
This means they are questing authority, belief patterns, rules and even the advice of those adults around them which is why the mentor and belief system they establish during their Jupiter Return matters so much.
Saturn represents structures, responsibility and the ability to follow through with the action that we need to get things done.
For teens this means everything from making sure their room is clean, to schoolwork and of course being where they say they will when out with friends.
Saturn is a hard teacher though and all too often for teens the first impulse is to just give up.
This is whereas parents and aunties what we do next matters so much.
If we learn to give up or quit as soon as things get challenging or too hard during this phase, then it will carry over into adulthood because we wouldn’t have been equipped to know what to do when things get difficult.
Because of this the best approach for parents is to help teens figure out ways through what feels impossible.
Whether it’s breaking things into smaller pieces, coming at it from a different standpoint, greater organization or even just diligent persistence.
This is about helping our teens navigate the “I’m going to give up” attitude so that they can learn they have all the tools they need to encounter something challenging and succeed.
But Saturn Opposition isn’t just about learning how to not quit, it’s also about how to handle authority, whether that’s parents, teachers, other family members or even the law.
This is during this stage we often see kids experimenting with shoplifting, drug use or other experimental behaviors.
They are trying to figure out where they fit in and what rules need to be respected or not.
While many of these behaviors can border on dangerous, there are some such as questioning a teacher or speaking their own opinion to their parent which are not.
Part of the role as parents here is to approach the behavior or statement as if it was from another adult and not a child-not because they know everything or because they don’t deserve a consequence but because they are generally looking for understanding and learning.
This means having hard conversations about substances which adults may use but isn’t advised for teens, so rather than just saying no, show them and better yet teach them why this is the case.
If they have an opinion that differs from yours instead of seeing as them being rude, ask them to explain themselves more to help them learn to have reflective and advocacy skills.
During this time of conversation, it’s important to look to see if they are making good points, if their right, and if not, then to explain our own belief or positioning rather than just saying that’s the way that it is.
Another aspect that plays a part into this phase is that the social importance shifts from it being family orientated like during the Jupiter Return to more peer and friend focused.
Age 14 to 21 is ruled by the zodiac sign of Gemini
While part of this is psychology as they start to navigate the world on their own terms it’s also because the zodiac sign Gemini rules ages 14-21 where the primary focus is friends and learning how to navigate romantic relationships for the first time.
Gemini lends its energy to this phase by being questioning, capable of holding multiple beliefs at the same time, talkative, friendly, social and outgoing.
But it also speaks of the duality of the twins, the symbol for this sign, no longer a child, but not quite an adult.
It’s challenging being a fourteen-year-old and it’s challenging parenting one, but the most important thing that we can do is look at everything they say or do as them seeking greater knowledge, even if it differs from our own beliefs.
In that way we’re not just better supporting them now, but better supporting the adults that they’ll grow into.
Kate Rose is an artist, writer, passionate yogi, spiritual astrologist, relationship and life coach, and motivational speaker. As a spiritual intuitive, she practices the religion of astrology and love. For more of her work, visit her website.