It is a common topic of discussion amongst parents of adolescents that the children have shown a dramatic change in their behavior. Children go through major developmental changes from about eleven years of age till about twenty.
Many biological changes take place during teenage which includes physical changes like increase in height and distribution of body fat. Hormonal changes and gaining puberty occur too. Bodily changes may result in self consciousness while hormonal changes could cause mood swings. Adolescents tend to get overly emotional and aggressive at times. A typical teenager would be wild and rebellious towards their parents or other adults and not ready to accept other’s opinions or advices. They are starting to separate from their parents and trying to assert their independence. Feelings of inferiority or superiority might also arise now. Since they are on the threshold of adulthood, they are confused about their role as they find themselves torn between childhood and adulthood.
It is a crucial and testing times not only for the child but for the parents as well. One is confused about how to communicate with the children in the best possible way. There are no set rules for this, but following are some things could be done-
• Children should know their limits and consequences of their actions as well. This gives them a sense of security, structure and predictability.
• While exercising authority is important, there has to be warmth and love along with it.
• Too many rules will only make the children rebel against the parent. We need to understand the feelings and emotions of the child as well. A parent has to be a friend first and an adult later.
• Regular dialogue with the child boosts confidence and a need to share everything with the parent
• Family bonding is very important- through regular family meals and fun family outings. This will help the child to stay connected, enjoy each other’s company and share their thoughts and feelings with everyone.
• As parents we should not only celebrate their accomplishments but also share their disappointments. Showing interest in whatever is happening in their lives will give them support and motivate them further.
• Giving household responsibilities to the child will give them a sense of belonging and that they are making an important contribution to family life. These could be things like chores, shopping, cooking their favorite dish or helping a younger or older member of the family.
• Having family meetings to solve a problem will help them work out real life problems later in their lives.
As parents we need to understand the needs of our child during teenage and treat them as young adults with a thinking mind, if we wish to help them grow up into healthy adults. They should be permitted to develop their own opinions and beliefs. They need our love and support in order to deal with all the changes which are happening in their lives at this stage.
We need to give the children roots as well as wings so that they achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams while being grounded in life.