Have you ever been like me, reminiscing to your daughter about her teenage years? How she was more often than not, annoyed and upset about the rules, boundaries and limitations I had set up for her. She mentioned that some of the rules were unreasonable and that she struggled being confined within dos and don’ts. I am sure that I am not the only parent out there that has labelled their child a “Difficult Teenager”, she was in my knowledge one of them. This view in turn caused a strain on our relationship.
Why did I feel the need to label her as a “Difficult Teenager”?
Maybe it was just the answer to the problem I decided to accept. Reflecting on this I believe it is important for parents to understand that there are various factors that contribute to the current undesired behaviours you might find your teenage child to exhibit.
First, you need to understand that they are in a phase of their life where there is surging hormones in their bodies which bring about the further consciousness of their identities.
Secondly, you need to understand that they are under the various pressures of the environment and social expectations to act and live a certain way.
They are under pressure from school life which can include being social and getting pleasing grades, causing unpleasant feelings of frustration and confusion. They themselves don’t understand what’s going on, why their bodies may change.
The most important thing to remember is that they are still young and trying to find their footing in the world. A teenager’s frustration, state of confusion and irrationality brought about by the various pressures should not be judged from the surface because behind every surface reaction, there’s an underlying root cause.
Try your best not to disregard your children’s opinions as they are full of wisdom and innocence and have the ability to teach us many life lessons. Even if you may not agree with your child’s way of doing something, give them the opportunity and space to explore their way and the experience if it is actually better than yours. You may find they integrate a bit of your opinion and a bit of theirs.
By taking this approach you are then helping to boost their self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Make sure you try your hardest to be available to them with genuine concern and interest. They need to be heard when speaking and your counsel will be priceless to them.
For myself with now three adult kids I have faced many challenges being a parent. Those challenges do not end and I am forever learning about my place in their lives.
“Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.” -Virginia Satir