• Adolescent Children Worried Parents - Tips To Deal With Your Adolescent Children

    The Schooling Times | 07/01/2023 12:54 AM

     

    Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical, biological and psychological development that generally occurs during the teenage years. Wisdom, risk taking, inhibitions, identity development, self-esteem are some of the traits associated with teenagers.

    Parents must have a thorough understanding of adolescence in their teenager from all perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology since teenage is a  transitional period between childhood and adulthood wherein the body and mind prepares a teenager for adult roles. It is a period of multiple transitions involving education, training, dealing with living circumstances and many times employment as well.

    During childhood, siblings are a source of conflict and frustration but a great emotional support system at the same time. Adolescence marks a rapid change in role of a teenager within a family. Young children are assertive, but don't generally demonstrate much influence over family decisions. As soon as they hit early adolescent age, parents increasingly view them as equals. The adolescent faces the task of increasing independence while preserving a caring relationship with parents. At teenage there is significant increase in parent–child conflict and a less cohesive familial bond. 

     

    Arguments often concern minor issues that can be very well  controlled on both sides e.g. restrictions on coming back home in late hours, acceptable clothing and the right to privacy. 

     

    Social media has also played an increasing role in adolescent and parent disagreements. While adolescents strive for their freedoms, one of the most challenging subject to parents is the facts unknowns to parents as to what their child is doing on social media sites. As the scary influence of increasing amount of anti social elements on social media sites is spreading, unaware of even the names of social networking sites in the first place , the parents are developing mistrust with their children. 

     

    Teenagers exhibit various kinds of behaviours e.g. thrill-seeking, introvert, outspoken, privacy-seeking, bullying, risk taking etc. Each comes with its own challenges seeking parents' attention and coaching. Some of the rules can be worked out by applying these common but difference making tips.

     

    Make Rules

    Make Rules for the entire family not for the teenager alone. Make sure you involve every member of your family in the formal discussion on the rules and every member agrees on following the rules. Never be too hard on imposing rules on any particular member, especially teenagers. Set clear expectations on the main agenda items - behaviour, boundaries and respecting each other’s privacy and space. 

     

    Have realistic expectations

    A lot of work is still happening in the brain of your  teenager. They are still in the process of getting their own identity. Set only those expectations that can be met without too much of push and pulls on both sides. Their behaviour can be rectified but not moulded in your expectation frame. 

     

    Consequences if Rules are not followed

    Set clear expectations on abiding by the rules and give a clear message on the consequences if rules are broken. E.g. Some of the privileges can be taken off if the rules are broken. Follow up firmly but calmly on broken rules to avoid any conflicts. 

     

    Be Flexible

    Reconsider changing the rules as both the parents and children cope up with the rules. It will take some time for all to get in terms with the rules.

     

    Be a positive role model for your children

    If parents follow the rules, the entire family will get encouraged and respect that behaviour.

     

    Avoid conflicts 

    Avoid conflicts on trivial issues. Ask yourself, “Does it really matter? If yes, to what extent? Listen to your child and take every matter seriously.

     

    Empathise

    Like said earlier, never be too hard on your teenager. Let the boundaries and limits be maintained on both sides. Try to understand the peer pressure they go through in their school or college.

     

    Give your teenager responsibility

    Give your child responsibility. Let them find out the challenges involved in meeting that responsibility and let them sort out and make decisions, if any.   

    They are developing the capability to handle things without assistance. Give them time and space with responsibility. 

     

    Praise works wonders! 

    Encourage your teenager. Teenagers are still not at a self-sufficient stage. They still need your hand holding at times. Support them when they ask, but never volunteer and pitch in between. They need your approval for all matters. Do praise them for their good behaviour in private, not in front of friends or extended family. And never forget to CELEBRATE even the smallest of the cheerful moments!

     

    Hard Conversations

    Some conversations may be hard. Plan ahead of time to deal with difficult situations. Watch out for your words, try not to hurt their emotions. A worse situation may bring up depression and negativity in a teenager as they are biologically and psychologically going through a lot from inside.  Always think how your child will feel if you say something that hurts your child. Let the conversations not turn into battles. Arrange a suitable time and a suitable place. Maintain calm and try to make those overwhelming emotions subtle.

     

    Be Assertive

    Share your feelings. Let the child know how you are getting impacted at home and / or work because of how your teenager is behaving. How your health, emotions and routine is getting disturbed by his or her behaviour.

     

    Every teenager needs privacy

    You must exercise simple things. Asking for their permission to enter their rooms; never showing up on their face any suspicions that you get about them; never trying to go through their phone or laptop or other belongings. Show them that you respect their privacy. Maintain the boundary and never get into what can be left as personal between teenagers and their friends.

     

    Keep promises

    When you keep your promises whether good or bad, your child learns to trust and respect you. Be clear and consistent, and promise only what you know you can deliver.

     

    Encourage them in family rituals and traditions

    Give them extra responsibility in every festival. Our rituals and traditions play a very important role in grounding us with our families. Festivals come occasionally, you can select a day or evening as family time. Cook what they like or give them the opportunity to help you in preparing the special dinner and give them their due credit for their help. 

     

    Keep jokes and laughter in your pocket

    Laughing or making jokes on each other in caual manner without hurting each others' feelings and emotions can help diffuse tension and possible conflict, and stop you and your child taking things too personally. You can also sometimes use a joke or a laugh to kick off a difficult conversation.

    Learn to live with mistakes. Look for the positive side and never forget that your teenager is going through a lot more than seen and hence exhibiting that behaviour.  This phase will take its due course to get over. Be Patient.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
The Schooling Times