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Teenagers can sometimes be the most difficult things to handle on earth, which is for some part, a valid point. But the fact is also that every parent has to go through this stage. What many parents (and articles) overlook, though, is the fact that every teenager is the same child they once were and are the same adults they will one day, be.
Acceptance and understand can make the treacherous ocean of teenage years a smoother sail for both parents and adolescents. Perhaps, if some things were ruled out clearly, life would be made easier for many parents who are convinced that they are raising wild rebels.
1. We are going through a transition. Adolescence is a time when we enter an entirely new arena, one hovering between the fantasy of childhood, and the daunting reality of adulthood. Teenage is a time when we are only planning our map and discovering new things, so that in another few years we will finally discover our own path. Parents have to understand this fact. Try not reaching conclusions about your teen’s character, for it is still constantly evolving. If you find this challenging, try reminding yourself of your own teenage years.
2. Don’t set expectations too high. Be realistic about what you want your child to achieve. Everyone has different potential and not everyone is a wunderkind. Don’t pressurize your teen to become something he doesn’t want to, or cannot. Importantly, don’t compare your kid with someone else, “why can’t you be like that friend of yours?” or “how can Aisha be so smart? She’s also 15!”
3. Respect our space. Teenage is a time when new cravings for freedom and discord for independence emerge. It is important to respect this desire and not doubt your child’s motives excessively.
4. If you want to keep watch, that’s all right. While it is true that teenagers need some autonomy, it is also equally vital that parents keep a note of their child’s activities. As this is a tricky period when adolescents can easily get carried away with wrong choices, we understand that parents need to be informed. But it is equally important that you do this policing through straightforward means. Sneaking, finding out through friends, spying secretly will only trigger rebellion and insurgence. Instead, ask direct questions, talk to your teenager about the perils of immoral activities and choices and confide your anxieties openly.
5. Be a friend, lose the doubt. Trust is a key relationship that has to be maintained throughout any relationship, especially in that between a parent and the kid. Constant skepticism will only lead to an uprising, withdrawal and retreat.
6. We are young, and wild and free. Or at least, this the time when we think that way. Allow fun time, a little bit of adventure, outing with friends, instead of being too restrictive, while at the same time ensuring we are doing our duties. Also, bonding, at family times, or setting up a fixed outing periodically can help teenagers and parents understand each other better.
7. Accept the generation gap. Twenty first century youth are definitely different, with all the facebook-ing and crazy blogging culture but there are still some commonalities too with your time, parties and loud music haven’t changed. But remember, we cannot be the same teenager you were, or the teenager that every one of our friends is. Every person is different and so is every generation.
8. Don’t forget that we love you. Whatever the quarrel, the anger and the row may be about; even teenagers are filled in the inside with a mushy heart.
Try mutual trust, shared relationship and understanding and you might realize we are really not wild, spoilt brats after all. We will be there for you in your older ages and we are attempting in every way, to understand things better and will one day, make you proud.
Pic credit: levork (Used under a Creative Commons license)
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