A Parent's Guide: Managing the Teenage Years
Sun, April 11, 2021

A Parent's Guide: Managing the Teenage Years

One of the worst fears of parents is whether or not they can handle their children becoming teenagers. They may find themselves in many awkward and frustrating situations / Photo by: Vadim Guzhva via 123RF

 

One of the worst fears of parents is whether or not they can handle their children becoming teenagers. They may find themselves in many awkward and frustrating situations. And they can’t be faulted for that. Teenagers can really be very difficult to control and handle, especially since they already have knowledge of the world outside the home. It’s also the time when intense growth and understanding can happen in your child. Gone are the days when you’ll have to make time to play with your child after school. Teenagers most probably would want to go someplace else instead of being home early. Many families become so stressed with the idea that one child is becoming a teenager, and it could be more daunting if there are more kids at home.

The teen years are a period of development, not just in the physical sense but also emotional and mental. According to an article on Kids Health, a website that provides vital information on children's and teen’s health, every child will have a different time on when exactly they’ll start their adolescence. Some are late bloomers while others understand that they are growing up fast. You may think your child is already a teenager once he becomes 13 years old, but he might still retain his childhood behavior and physical attributes.

We also have to take note that puberty is different from adolescence. One might think that all the physical changes in a person’s body are already a sign of puberty. However, when it comes to adolescence, these are the things that we rarely see or feel in our children. Much of what is happening would be on the different behavioral changes a child will exhibit. There can be an obvious distancing of the child from their parents. Parents will be a bit surprised when this happens as their once loving child could turn into a totally different person. Friends are becoming more important for them, and they may even have developed a liking for a particular person.

 

The Rebel Stage

You might find your child rebelling or not following any of your commands, suggestions, or advice. You may have some moments of argument with your child, and it can be increasingly exhausting. However, this is most likely just a part of your child’s development phase, as they begin to need some level of independence from you. They are already in their maturing stage where they are starting to realize that they have a voice and their opinion also matters. It could be the start of a rebellious stage to get away from your control.

At this point, you might want to assess the kind of parenting you do for your children. Are you more on the controlling side? Do you often reprimand your children for not listening? Do you really listen to what they are trying to say? Understanding your parenting style will make it easier for you to get along with your maturing child. In a way, you would have to give some degree of independence to your child, and they might actually feel thankful if you provide them some freedom to do things on their own, but you must consider them all, and make sure that they are not doing something unlawful or harmful to them or to others.

You might find your child rebelling or not following any of your commands, suggestions, or advice. You may have some moments of argument with your child, and it can be increasingly exhausting / Photo by: Cathy Yeulet via 123RF

 

Handling Teenagers Positively

In an article on AHA! Parenting, a webpage that provides information and advice on parenting and parenting techniques, it was mentioned that positive parenting is always possible. There might be a feeling of not being welcome in your child’s life or you may feel that you cannot influence them much during this period. However, it will all be dependent on the bond you have made as parent and child. Here are ways you can strengthen that bond.

Be a friend

The reason why most teens are closer to their friends is that they feel that these people understand them better since they are almost the same age. In your case, you have to find a way to make them feel that you understand and appreciate them, and you’ll be surprised that they will begin to open up.

Make time for your child

Checking in on your child is vital during the teen years. Have some time to converse with them on how their day went, and be available as much as possible, even if they don’t want to say things to you all the time. A simple “goodnight” or a kiss and hug could send the message that you are still there for them, even if you are mostly working.

There might be a feeling of not being welcome in your child’s life or you may feel that you cannot influence them much during this period. However, it will all be dependent on the bond you have made as parent and child / Photo by: Martin Novak via 123RF

 

Accept the change

Be positive and accept that your child is growing up. You would have to let them do things on their own so that they could learn by themselves. However, make sure that you still have an idea about what they are doing and where they are going.

Support their passion

You may have a particular dream for your child, but you should know that this isn’t theirs. Support your child on those things that they might want to do like joining a certain club or starting a new sport. Just make sure that what you support is always the positive things.

Keep them healthy physically and mentally

Provide meals that are healthy for your child. The teenage years are the growing years, so they will need more energy to go through the day. If you can, establish meal times together so that you can also talk while eating.