Parenting poses probably one of the most challenging jobs of our society, featuring a host of responsibilities. As a parent, your job entails teaching your children about the various aspects of life, the usual do’s and don'ts, but more than anything, it involves loving them - no matter what. Even if they lie, or cheat, or steal, or get into substance abuse- remember to keep your cool, maintain your composure, and remind yourself that love and patience go a long way.
When it comes to parents and teenagers, the law of nature demands there be a vast distinction in their thought process and method of operations. Conflict is bound to arise, owing to the glaring generation gap between the two.
Most of these conflicts can be bridged by effective communication, and assuming a more sympathetic response towards your teenager’s outbursts.
More often than not, teenagers are a self-contradictory breed. They're only just beginning to discover themselves; a process which requires a great deal of trial and error. Mistakes are bound to be made in plenty, but that is how they learn. The frontal and parietal lobes of the brain are responsible for preparation and self-control, and are not entirely formed in most teenagers. This may help explain a lot of their irresponsible actions to the exasperated parent.
It’s important to understand that their mindset would be deeply affected should we fail to understand the chemical reactions in their brain triggering these outbursts. They may share certain impulses with toddlers, but that doesn’t mean you treat them as such.
Here are certain tips that may help parents connect better with their teenage children:
Know when to switch between being their friend and guardian. Teenagers are at an age where they're starting to get more mature the older they get. However, sometimes they may find themselves in a situation where they're simultaneously too old and too young for certain things. You may have to lay down the law as to when they absolutely cannot get away with doing something wrong, and sympathise with them in times of self-conflict and bouts of anxiety.
Try not to raise your voice. Most teenagers are already privy to college-induced stress. They're at a point in life where they're experiencing countless emotional, hormonal and physical changes. Their voices may be deepening, they may be experiencing muscle development and the like. In such a situation, expressing your frustration at their incapacity may infuriate them further and lead them to react in all the wrong ways. They may prove to be violent or rebellious, and the best way to handle such a situation is to just let it settle. Try and understand their point of view, their trials and tribulations. Offer assistance wherever you can. Let your home be a haven from the pressures of the outside world where they can relax and recharge.
Talk to them about sex, drugs and alcohol. Expose your teenagers to the common vices of the world early on, so they're better prepared to handle tough situations as and when the time arises.
Treat your teenager as an individual, and not an investment. Allow your children to fall, to make their own choices, to learn how to cope with every obstacle life throws at them. They may not be super-achievers or the ideal “Sharmaji ka beta”, but you must love them nonetheless and encourage them to realize their true passions.
Create memories, not expectations. We’ve all had expectations imposed upon us at one point it another. While they lead us onto achieving more, transferring them onto young impressionable minds simply isn't fair. As long as you can teach them to enjoy themselves by displaying kindness and affection towards everyone, that's all that matters. Avoid telling a teenager what to do in trivial situations. You may feel like you are reaching out, but your teenager may view it as persistence to give unsolicited advice.
Although difficult teenagers are not pleasant to deal with, there are many effective skills and strategies you could use to minimize their defiance and increase their cooperation with you. You've been in their situation once upon a time, and the best gift you could offer them through this time is experience. Give them the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and thus strengthen your bond with them, build on trust and integrity. They'll get through it absolutely fine, just as you did. #BounceBack