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YOUR STRANGER TEENAGER

Updated on November 7, 2014
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SURVIVING THE TEEN YEARS

At birth, you marveled at this perfect little creature and expressed gratitude that the journey to child birth is over. You have made your plans, registered him way in advance for all the best schools and activities and are just glowing as a new parent.


THE EARLY YEARS

You then spend the next couple of years tracking and documenting all his milestones and are simply proud! You are convinced that you are doing a great job and have family and friends to corroborate your expertise! Parent of the decade has never looked this good!

After the passing of a few initial years, you realize that time is waiting on no man and that the baby whom you brought into the world is fast becoming a pre-teen. But, you've done well thus far as a parent as evidenced by your friends' and families' nod of approval and your angel's frequent commendations from teachers and school administration alike.


PREPARATION VS DEVIATION

You've also been reading up on parenting journals and books and believe you've "got this", so a big party is put on to celebrate the child's coming of age. But, apparently, no one bothered to tell you that there will be deviation from the scripted texts and that you are in for a bumpy ride until he leaves for college...which also now seems like a big 'if'.

Not only is your only child giving you attitude and back talking, almost overnight, but his interest in his education and co-curricular activities seems fast-waning and you are left dumb-founded. Then there is the sudden change of friends and dress style and all seems to be heading downhill...and fast.

Being the smart and learned parent that you are, you devise several incentive strategies: positive and negative reinforcement; positive and negative punishment. Nonetheless, the once caring and loving child just does not seem one bit moved by your efforts. You are left bewildered and frustrated.


JUST A PHASE

Well, the good news is: it really IS a phase and different children respond to adolescence and even young adulthood differently. The key is now to get practical help. Liaise with parents who are experiencing similar challenges. Talk to your own parents and grandparents if possible (yes, you might be surprised to hear you too, were considered a troubled teen); join parenting support groups and constantly encourage and praise good or desired behaviours. If you are overly concerned, then there is also professional help available with specialist child-psychologists.

One day, your child will remember the values that you have spent what now seems like a lifetime instilling in him, Likewise, one day, he too will be a parent, only to repeat the cycle...and succeed too! Don't give up, the time is shorter than you think and while it does not seem so just now, the message is being received, even while he goes through the identity crisis. Before you know it, you will have your precious first-born causing you to beam with pride again...and with any luck, his children will be just like him :)


My pre-teen
My pre-teen
Students at a local high school in Jamaica
Students at a local high school in Jamaica

© 2014 Keisha Hunter

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    • Keisha Hunter profile image
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      Keisha Hunter 2 years ago from Paradise and then some

      Thank you for your kind words Besarien. Mine is also fourteen and yes, that's a baby brother. I am definitely done for similar reasons, but I never say never as I long for the girl. They are both awesome kids, but I think the teenage years are kicking in in some regards. I'm sure your son is also lucky to have a great mom, looks and all too ;) I try.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Great topic and a great hub! My son is fourteen. He is and always has been a lovely kid. I've been waiting for that other shoe to drop. Everyone tells me that it is coming! So far so good, though. Either he is a late bloomer or has entered his teen phase way more laid back than most. (I cover my eyes and cringe to think what I was up to at his age.) I can hardly believe he's only four years now from becoming an adult. I'm determined to make the best of what time is left of his childhood. Your son is a very lucky young man to have an involved, concerned mother planning ahead for his wellbeing and education. He definitely got his mum's good looks too- and how lucky is that! Is it only him, or is that a little brother I see in the photo? Are you done now or would you like another one or two some day? I love every minute of it, but I'm definitely done. I would have a hard time affording another, for one thing. I am certainly not getting any younger either.