chapter  4
10 Pages

From Butterfl y to Moth: Adolescent Metamorphosis

Many factors aff ect identity formation. As a child matures, he becomes aware that other people may not know the “real me” inside him. A child, however, is not always sure whether he wants that “me” to be known. Most people share aspects of their “real selves” with those whom they most trust in the world. But, when a person’s real, exposed, self is attacked by others, it can be very destructive. Th is letter addresses yet another aspect of the changing identity that is experienced by children in late latency-their interests change and their personalities begin the shift into a more mature self. Children may fi nd that they are less interested in playing with dolls or action fi gures. Th ey may not enjoy certain hobbies or activities that they once did. Th ese changes occur at diff erent rates for diff erent children. Sometimes change frightens children. As a child changes, she may feel sad at “losing her old self,” the one who had a zest for play and abandon. She doesn’t yet understand, of course, the coherence of her development and that her “real self” is expanding rather than disappearing (Steinberg, 1999; Steinberg & Morris, 2001).