Parenting is akin to walking a tightrope between love and discipline. While all parents want to lavish their children with loads of love and gifts, nobody would appreciate having an ungrateful or self-centred child. Probably the most difficult time for parents is when their children grow up and blossom into freedom-seeking individuals.
What makes the situation more challenging is that they always seem to be on edge. Handling the moods and edgy behaviour of teenagers is a real test of parental patience. It helps to remember that the physical and emotional changes that they are witnessing are transitory. Also, sometimes as parents, you need to understand their perspective and negotiate with them while setting curfews, insisting upon screen time, and laying down specific rules.
Additionally, teenage years in your child’s life are marked by a discernible change in their behaviours. At this age, they pick up the latest trends in fashion, technology, and new slangs to feel more accepted and belonged.
You may have also noticed your young child becoming more image-conscious and wanting to blend in with his social circle. A classic example is young children asking for their first smartphone fairly young. Although it has a practical use, especially in times of an emergency, smartphones offer young children the world on their small screen. It is highly addictive and can also be misused as a result of their curious and gullible nature. Therefore, you should consider their track record and general disposition in mind before making the decision.
Let’s look at some of the other teenage problems that parents have to deal with every day.
Parents are often left dumbstruck at how quickly their child changes from being innocent and dutiful to someone who rolls their eyes at everything you say! The teenage years from 13 to 19 transform him from an innocent kid to a freedom-seeking youth who is still trying to grapple with his newfound identity. You may feel hurt by his lack of interest in the family at times, and his sudden outbursts can only escalate your agony. But you can draw strength from knowing that it is just a transitory phase and you should learn to take it in your stride. As such, staying out of their hair while being attentive and keeping a watchful eye from a distance can undoubtedly help.
Our children are growing in a visibly digitized world, and at times we may feel helpless over their online addiction. Teens are very vulnerable online and can fall prey to predators, scams, and marketing hacks as they lack the cognitive skills to distinguish between the ‘real’ and the ‘fake.’ As such, monitoring their online behaviour becomes of utmost importance. Today’s parents should polish their knowledge on the latest technologies that their teenage children are using. You can regulate and oversee their online activity by installing certain
Teenagers feel the brunt of social pressure more than any other age group. They are more susceptible to people’s scrutiny and the extreme pressure to live up to the unrealistic standards set by society. Many external factors play a role in making them feel ‘not good enough’ and out of place. The beauty standards set for women is too high, and many young girls fall prey to it leading to feelings of inadequacy among them. Young boys also feel the need to behave a certain way to maintain their status among peers and these false ideas turn into their belief systems if not kept at check. Successful parenting means helping them differentiate between healthy benchmarks and unrealistic expectations.
It is every parent’s nightmare, isn’t it? Dating is an indispensable part of growing up, but parents are righteously anxious about their children entering the dating world. Instead of worrying helplessly, you can turn it around to inculcate good values in them rather than have them learn from their mistakes. As much as you may not want your child dating until they become adults, it is better to embrace it rather than have them engage in it with you none the wiser. One of the most significant problems faced by parents
Sexual behaviour among youngsters has become rampant and is a teen challenge that keeps parents up at night. As our society becomes more and more digitized, it has led to the early sexualisation of impressionable kids. They engage in sexual behaviour far more early in their life without having the emotional and intellectual skills to comprehend its implications.
They say a repressed mind is always more curious and it fits aptly into the context of sexuality. Parents are often reluctant to educate their children about sex. However, your hesitation may be misinterpreted as it
Teenage years are notorious for experimentation. While many may have their first tryst with alcohol or drugs at this time, it can quickly escalate out of hand and become an unshakeable habit. It is surprising how many youngsters give in to these habits due to peer pressure and wanting to fit in. From a young age, the conversation about the ill-effects of substance abuse should be pressed upon. Kids who begin understanding that drugs are harmful from a young age are more likely to refuse it during adolescence.
Following the 2017 statistics provided by the WHO, one in four teens in India suffers from depression. While the present statistics may be alarming, it points to the real alienation that young children feel in today’s highly competitive life. One of the biggest teenage problems faced by them is bullying, and it can lead to depression as the young minds are susceptible to the critical judgment of their peers. If you notice your child being sad, lonely or angry for long periods of time, then it is a red signal that you should not overlook. Probably the most challenging aspect of parenting is reading between the lines of your growing child’s ever-changing emotional states to detect the real cause. Although most of their behaviours can be attributed to their changing hormones, you should check in with your child every once in a while to see if their problem needs external help.
We, as parents, insist on a fixed bedtime for our young kids but the same rule becomes more relaxed when they turn older. Teenagers rarely meet their daily sleep requirements, and it puts a lot of stress on their performance at school and other activities. Getting your growing child to have a sound sleep of 9 hours daily is a teen challenge that most parents struggle with. But it is of utmost importance as a good night’s sleep will improve his concentration and the ability to retain what he has learned at school. The habit of sleeping and waking up at the same time daily will hold your teenage child in good stead and lay the foundation for a stable lifestyle in the coming years.
The importance of open communication is most apparent at this age as teenage years are replete with many conflicts and dilemmas. Therefore, you need to be their voice of reason and help them navigate these formative years with as much help as possible. Remember that you cannot always answer to their every whim, but you can still be a loving parent while laying down the rules. Sometimes the idea of being a fun parent or your child’s best friend may seem too alluring but what your child needs from you is a parental figure that they may not always agree with but can surely look up to in the long run.
As always, we look forward to your suggestions and feedback to help us grow as a community of readers. Let us offer a helping hand to each other on our journey to successful parenting.