- Family and Parenting»
Teenagers - Teenagers life
Understanding a teen.
Some parents usually look at their teenage son or daughter and wonder where they went wrong as a parent. The child who used to listen to you now has a mind of his or her own and dares to point out that you are wrong and that he or she is right. At the teen years of your son or daughter, a parent notices a big change in his or her child in the way they behave.
The word teen is derived from the old English word ‘teona’ which means anger and grief. The teen years can be painful for both the teenager and parent. The teen years are between the ages of thirteen to nineteen years and hence understanding why and how a teenager behaves will go a long way in helping a parent forge a relationship with his or her son or daughter.
Although a teenager has not yet earned the freedom of adulthood, he or she has lost the privileges of childhood. The teenager finds everything appealing to him or her such as smoking, marrying, having sex, voting or even enlisting in the army, prohibited. He or she has to go to school whether he or she wants. All these don’ts put a strain on relationships between adults and teenagers that usually last as long as a teenager is financially dependent on his or her parents. Divorce, economic crisis and political crisis are not pretty pictures for a teenager and thus a parent who cannot handle his or her own difficulties is hardly equipped to cope with the problems erupting inside a teenage member of the family. Through this difficult time of growth, a teenager needs parents who can recognize that he or she is changing into an adult, parents who will patiently understand, rather than overreact to the attitudes and behaviors of their teen child.
I realize that most parents wonder if it is okay for a teenager to be rebellious. Rebellion refers to resistance to or rejection of authority or control. It is very okay for a teen child to rebel. Parents should think for a moment what would happen if their teen children never resisted or rejected your control. He or she would remain under your authority and perhaps roof, forever. Through rebellion the teenager cries out for recognition of his or her individuality. He or she no longer wants a parent to consider him or her as his or her property, but nonetheless he or she remains the responsibility of the parent. There are two types of rebellion; normal and abnormal.
Nancy Van Pelt, author of the book ‘Train up a Child’, says that normal rebellion will always lead an adolescent to a mature life. This constructive time period, she adds, will assist the teenager in shedding childish ways and developing independence. One should always remember that the teenager remains a novice in coping with his or her own feelings as well as coping with a parent’s feelings and reactions. A teenager always has vast mood swings which a parent should learn to adjust to. During the normal phases of rebellion you may expect your teenager to challenge your authority by talking back to you, arguing with you, testing rules and curfews, questioning religion, rejecting long-established family values, changing his or her normal style of wearing clothes and the music he or she listens to. If a parent shows patience while his or her child is finding himself or herself, the parent will be able to work out a relationship with his or her child.
Abnormal rebellion bogs down the family in constant battles over the car, dates, friends, curfews, rules or money. This type of rebellion can take a youngster out of the mainstream of life if it is not controlled. Rebellion becomes abnormal when a teenager refuses to abide by reasonable household rules, ignores curfews, habitually experiments with alcohol, drugs and/or sex, repeatedly brushes with the law or appears in bizarre fashions. Abnormal rebellion involves a total refusal to cooperate in family or social responsibilities. It can set a precedent that younger siblings may follow. A parent should be able to acquire help on the principles that may help him or her to guide his or her teenager through this demanding period. All parents should learn to communicate and set limits for their teenagers so as to be able to go through the terrible teen years successfully.
Teenagers may prove to be difficult to their parents but with practice, parents can learn to understand them.