Top Five Challenges Parents Face with Teenagers
The Crucial Years
Adolescent are the crucial years for both, the children and their parents. There is a marked change in the behaviour and attitude. Parents fear about losing them to unwarranted groups and activities. Teenagers often get into trouble either in school or the neighbourhood. They suddenly start having issues with authority and their younger siblings. They assume that they know what they are doing. Adolescents go through a turning point in their teenage years. They learn by making mistakes, and their parents and the rest of the family members have to pick up after them. Teenagers don't have a sense of limit and boundary. They live to break the rules and get pleasure out of it. They love to revolt and stand up against rules and guidelines. Teenagers often have the faceoff with their parents. Sometimes, this becomes ugly. There are slamming doors, angry and raised voices and cries. The parent - child relationship suddenly becomes that of a friend and foe!
Each situation and problem is different. Many parents have issues with their teenagers staying out till late, and some have issues with their type of friends. Other common problems are:
• Bad Grades-sometimes teenagers lag behind in school work. They have problems with assignments and teachers. Thus, they don't do well academically. The parents worry about whether their children will get it to college or whether he or she will graduate or not.
• Communication-this is very much common. As teenagers, children are not able to communicate with their parents like they used to. Parents suddenly don't want to listen to them. Parents feel they can no longer talk to them in a nice and calm manner.
• Too Strict - some parents tend to be too strict. They are not flexible and dish out punishments without knowing the facts or getting the full details.
• Discipline - many teenagers have problems with discipline. They feel its constraints and limits them. Teenagers want to be free to do what they like, and there should be no consequences for it!
Many of the problems can solve through communication. Teenagers can talk to a common person who can relate the matter or their feelings to their parents. They can seek assistance from a family counsellor. Parents and teenagers should spend time together to know each other. They can do so over walks in the park, sports or a movie. Initially, it may seem difficult, but then it saves the family.
The Five Challenges
Teenagers are themselves a challenge that needs to be handled with care. They have their emotions and hormones running all over the place which makes things more difficult. Parents will find that raising teenagers is a challenge. The top five are:
1. Body Issues - as adolescents, children go through an important growth process. Their body changes drastically. It's different for boys and girls, but their feelings are the same. They feel shy and awkward. This results in stress and eating disorders.
2. Emotions - teenagers are very emotional. They feel as if the whole world is out to get them! They feel frustrated, confused and sensitive. This only lasts for a couple of years. Teenagers should learn to handle their emotions. They should turn it into their strength.
3. Behaviour - parents will see a sudden change in behaviour. They will observe that teenagers will want more space, they don't like been questioned, they don't like to follow rules. Teenagers become rebels and they don't like interference. Parents should be flexible and give them the independence that they need. They should also remember that they were also teenagers at one time!
4. Technology-parents need to pay more attention to their teenager's technology usage (mobile phones/tablets/laptops). They should monitor the internet usage and the messages they send out. They should also monitor their social media accounts. Sometimes, teenagers lead two lives - one on social media and one in real-time with their family. Some go to the extent of detailing sensitive family information on the Internet.
5. Socializing/Dating -adolescent is a crucial age. With raging hormones, they are bound to get attracted to the opposite sex. Dating is common. Some parents may not be too happy about it. They fear for their children. Rather, they should advise them about the consequences of unprotected sex, drug and alcohol abuse. Teenage is a crucial age, and mistakes are often made. Sometimes the mistakes have a lifetime consequence. It's better for parents to discuss this openly.
Dealing with teenagers can be stressful, but they need to be guided. They need to be loved and cared for.