Teenagers face real concerns, between 13 and 19 years of age, on a daily basis as this is the most awkward growth stage of their lives. During this time, teens are exposed to some overwhelming external and internal struggles. They go through, and are expected to cope with hormonal changes, puberty, social and parental forces, work and school pressures, and so on. Many teens feel misunderstood. It is vital that their feelings and thoughts are validated and that the validation comes from their parents. Parents need to approach their children, who have been dealing with teenage growth issues, carefully and in a friendly manner to discuss the concern(s).
We have listed down some of the few common problems faced by a teenager and also their possible solution that a parent can take-
PEER PRESSURE ISSUE
Friends become extremely important to teens and can have a great influence on their choices. As teens focus more on their peers, that inevitably means they withdraw from their parents/ family. It may leave them feeling hurt, but it doesn’t mean teen doesn’t still need parent's love or support.
Behaviour- a sudden change in peer group (especially if the new friends encourage negative behavior), refusing to comply with reasonable rules and boundaries, or avoiding the consequences of bad behavior by lying. Your teen spending too much time alone can also indicate problems.
As a parent, you might have taught your children to never say no. However, this can be situational. Sometimes your teen might be tempted to give in and say yes to a friend just for the sake of not losing out on his/her friendship. In such cases, they even might do something which they’re taught to refrain home. Under such circumstances, it is your duty to make your child understand how important it is to refuse someone for their own reasons. There can be some instances where the child has to say no for his/her own good. Therefore, this should be well conveyed to the child.
Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters. It is a concern for almost all parents of two or more kids. Problems often start right after the birth of the second child.
Many different things can cause siblings to fight. Most brothers and sisters experience some degree of jealousy or competition, and this can flare into squabbles and bickering.
As a parent, when you see your children quarrelling among themselves, your first instinct would to step in and dissolve their issue but is advisable to let them resolve their arguments by themselves, this step would prove to be a essential life lesson for kids as it teach them forgiveness and acceptance of one’s mistakes.
In case when sibling rivalry arises due to jealousy among them, parents can play a major role to avoid this type of situations by giving equal attention and encouragement to all their children and not compare child’s achievements with another.
As teens begin seeking independence, he/ she will frequently butt heads and argue. Constant escalation of arguments, violence at home, skipping school, getting in fights, and run-ins with the law are all red flag behaviors that go beyond the norm of teenage rebellion.
At the time when the child is growing there would be times when the opinions of the child and the parent would not correlate where there are chances when a rise to the conflict would be given.
Teens when seeking freedom would find it necessary to contradict the views of the parents which would lead to an acceleration of heated conversation, rebellious behaviour and also physical violence in extreme cases. Every view of the parent would be misinterpreted by the child which is a part of the growing stage. No two individuals would process thoughts in the same manner and differences of opinion would always be present, the cause for concern is that a basic conflict should not turn into an aggressive debate or fight.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Spying, cross questioning/checking with friends or doubting will hamper the bond, leading to defiant behaviors such as lying, stealing, hiding and being disrespectful. It is important to accept your teens as they are and to build trust in them. This will help them trust and accept themselves as well as those in their immediate environment. Most youths’ ability to develop positive self-esteem is affected by family life and parental criticism. Making respect a mutual virtue will help in developing a stronger bond between parents and the child. Thinking that the child is an individual first and the offspring of one later is what should be understood by parents. Trying to be flexible regarding petty issues would increase the willingness of the child to accept your opinions no matter how divergent there. Making the child realise that harsh words never work as solutions and thinking twice before speaking is necessary. Although a conflict might seem like a trap to the parent as well as the child, there’s always a way, it’s great to make the child have his or her say by being calm. When it comes to managing conflict listening, compromising, understanding and accepting function as best solutions
Every parent has a different outlook towards parenting. A healthy relationship between the child and parents is the most essential during the teenage years. Communication is the key to developing a rapport, which results in the child feeling comfortable talking to their parents. Finding the correct balance between being a friend and a parent is important as this will help develop the required rapport. For e.g. teens facing body image concerns like being too fat, too skinny, too tall or too short will benefit from balanced approach towards parenting, which may stem from good rapport.
A clear communication channel opens up many possibilities. This not only enhances the relationship but also helps the child confide in the parents about sensitive topics like bullying, peer pressure and abuse. Parents need to feel free to talk to their teens about certain common teenage problems like dating, sex, drugs, and alcohol. It is this inability to discuss the good and bad points that drives them to take wrong steps out of curiosity. Effecting use of communication will foster building of trust, respect and acceptance between the teen and the parent.
Adolescence altogether is a complex and a sensitive stage and in such a period hormonal changes act as obstacles at the time of pursuing excellence or even acceptable mediocrity resulting the child to feel demoralized, thus ways to have the child fostered and discussed below
There definitely is a major lack of self-confidence that is evidently present in the child and would thereby lead to self-loathing; it would eventually surface as social withdrawal, inactivity, inability to comply and in most of the cases underperformance in academics which is the cause of concern for most of the parents. Often that seems to be sheer laziness is basically avoidant behaviour, a response where the child feels fatigue after failing repeatedly despite trying with their best efforts. Over the course of time this learned helplessness termed as “lethargic” is an easier label to bear than “incapable”, “mindless” or “dense”
When constant lack of motivation and encouragement is faced by the child multiple times it turns out to be perplexing not only for the parents but also for the child, the thought of being of no good is majorly present in the child more than the parents purport it to be, in such a case instrumental conditioning, where the child must be rewarded for the tinniest of the achievements would be of help in abundance. The execution of reward doesn’t really mean materialistically, but a simple pat on the back can do wonders as well. It is also essential for the parents do understand that comparing their child with the individuals of the same group would simply evoke the sense of complex within the child which would worsen the situation.
LACK OF CONFIDENCE
Teenagers encounter an array of difficulties in their period of adolescence and to tackle them can often challenge their own self- confidence. Complex issues vary from accepting their own bodily changes or seek attention in their own peer group, when failing to have achieved so their own self confidence drifts apart.
There are certain indications which project low inner confidence in the child and they mainly could be social withdrawal, an agreement to succumb to outer influence, procrastination and holding opinions back. At this stage even the slightest of the negativity around them makes them hurtful, leading them to expose their vulnerable side to the environment. In severe cases there are multiple mental breakdowns faced by the child where constant crankiness is noticed in the teen.
Although the child encounters a rollercoaster of emotions at this tender stage, parental support could turn out to be a lot of help, there would be times when the child would not perform well in academics but does flourish in other activities such as sports or practical arts ,encouragement from the end of the parents to indulge in such activities would help them better their grades because recreational activities do function as refresh buttons .Spending quality time with the young one would help uplift the self-esteem of the child also listening without judgement and making attempts to understand their challenges would make the child feel more secure .
Stress with respect to teens stays unnoticed, but quite true is that teenagers often undergo stressful events just as adults do. Some sources of stress include perpetual failure in academics, inappropriate parenting styles and also low economic status in most cases.
Many of the teens burden themselves with stress, when it does take place, inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety issues, aggressive conduct, usage of obscene language and also physical illness. Unable to cope up with the hectic regime of the school is one of the major roots of stress in the teenage period, at this time authoritarian parents, which enforce rigid obedience at the cost of personal preference of the child weaken the mind-set of the child leading the child to shake a several times before having taken a step further. At this point of time the feeling of self- doubt, incapability of the self is given rise to the child.
Parental help that would cater to cope with stress would mainly comprise of guiding the child to decrease the negative self -talk which include phrases such as “ I hate my life “ or even “ I am not loved by anyone “. Encouraging the child do indulge in activities such as listening to soft music , watching motivational videos would bring out the sense of positivity in the child helping to deal with stress also building a network of friends that are optimistically driven can turn out to be helpful in several ways . Monitoring the intake of the child is a must, for an instance, addiction to any source of caffeine must be restricted. Techniques mentioned above undoubtedly are resourceful ,listening and making the child realise that there is always a light after the tunnel could help the child act ,think and believe positively .
Teens often hesitate in pouring their heart and that’s how quite often there is a communication gap between the parents and the young ones which has to be bridged.
The reason for the apprehensiveness of the child to crack open is due to the feeling of being judged. In many of the cases the child seeks help from outside the four walls in order to be heard and understood which would affect the safety of the child at some point. As a result the child would begin to hide certain things from the parents which would lengthen the distance of their relationship.
It is important for the parents to understand that suppressing the thoughts of the child would be of no help. Ideologies of the child no matter how bizarre they are must be accepted by the parents with due respect. Adolescence the tender stage that it is , conversations that are touchy or might lead to heated conflicts must be prevented and also divergent opinions must be accepted with due respect . Enforcing attentive listening at this stage does wonders and also makes the child feel free to project emotions without being objected. Modelling common conversational grounds would help the relentless flow of the communication which would help the parent know more about their little one. At the time when the child feels accepted by their parents without the fear of rejection, ears outside the house would not be required for the child open his heart.
Having a control over their impulses is something that is found to be difficult by the teens, due to the puberty changes that they undergo, thus hostile emotions are generally executed by them very frequently .Turning out to be very hysterical in their behaviour, rebellious conduct when felt rejected, sudden changes in the mood, sense of disobedience towards elders are the usual common conducts of the teens. In certain cases the feeling of being misunderstood would even worsen the scenario.
Empathy and understanding are the two main tools to mellow down the aggressive behaviour of the teen .It is also important for the parents or the care takers to have accepted the fact that such a behaviour is temporary and being over reactive to the situation would simply heat the situation more. Exposure to positive and progressive models would help the teen to behave more positive. Forgiveness functions as a major role during the development of the child, parents must make sure that certain irrational behaviour of their young ones hasn’t turned them into bad people thus making it a point to forgive them at the time of their misconduct also making sure that the behaviour doesn’t purports henceforth.
ATTENTION BUILDING WITH RESPECT TO TEENS
Teens have a tough time when it comes to staying focused and attentive simply their puberty stage being the cause, leading their academics to be hampered. To prevent this, issues stemmed to attention building with respect to teenagers and their respective solutions are thereby discussed below.
The sense of effective listening and staying attentive related to performing any task lacks in teenagers due to the constant restlessness that is present majorly in that age. In such a case being able to handle the situation would turn out to be difficult not only for the child but for the parent as well. Spanking, constant nagging would evoke the sense of disorientation in the child making it more difficult to have stayed focused and would turn the atmosphere gloomy immediately.
The feeling of disquietude, agitation and uneasiness is not the child’s fault and therefore shall not be blamed for the same is what must be understood by the elders of their family. However, fuelling the child with motivation would aid to the betterment of the child when it comes to stay attentive. Relaxation and positive imagery where combining of easy breathing techniques with positive mental imagery would be a lot of help. Making the child engage in recreational activities such as doodling, dancing, music would be great too. Although Techniques mentioned above do function as mechanisms it is important to realise that patience and warmth are the ultimate keys.
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