Bygone are the days where parents used to command children with a list of instructions to follow and punish them physically for committing an error. The contemporary era has seen an absolute reversal whereby parents intend to create a friendly bond with their kids in order to support them whenever they need any assistance. Parents these days realise that the transition from a kid to an adult is not only tough for them but also for the kids, who go befuddled with their dynamic bodies and hormones.
The present scenario has observed that puberty might make a child angry, pissed, happy, resentful at any moment without any valid reason, the reason behind it are the hormones, at this time what parents are supposed to do is ‘give them space’ .If a child is not compelled to do something, parents find forcing is the best way to do it, and the worst thing they do at that time is compare them with other kids. ’Teenagers hate comparison’ , a better way to solve the issue might be to understand the phycology of the child(because each child is different) find out what/whom he/she likes the most and lure the youngster with it, depending on the situation. For example, a youngster gets stubborn to become a model and stops eating nutritious food, starts applying makeup at an early age and watch all her calorie intake with unbaked knowledge about food. A normal parent’s reaction will be to force her to eat ‘dal-chawal’, tell negativities about the modelling agencies and ultimately ask her friends to tell her to eat. But here they forget the most important thing that they are dealing with a ‘Teenager’ and ‘everything you speak, every single word you say can be held against you’.
Firstly, teens believe that parents are orthodox and do not understand the ‘swag’/‘style’ of today’s world, thus they will always try to prove them wrong and resist what they are enforced to do. What goes in a teenagers mind? Mom said to not to become a model, now I will become a model to ‘prove’ her wrong. Here they don’t understand whatever their parents are doing is for their betterment but always try to prove that ‘I am right’, by hook or by crook. Secondly they use their own words to prove them wrong , Mom you were telling that modelling career is not so good, why do you appreciate Neeta aunt’s daughter who is in the same career ,mom ‘how dare you speak to my friend about what should I do? Do I ever barge in your business?’ Well, in this example what was mom trying to do, just guide her daughter to the right path but she might have compared her with other children which made her daughter use a comparison to her argument and this stage usually makes parents hate their own children because of their disputatious nature.
The solution to this is ‘Be friendly’, always have a friendly relationship with her and support her dreams, whenever any disagreement occurs, deal it wisely. For example ,in this situation what a mother could have done is took her to her favourite restaurants , she likes sushi ,go to a fine dine for sushi, she likes pasta take her to khan market and just spend a mother-daughter day, call it a cheat meal so that she doesn’t realise that this is to change her mentality. Don’t serve boring home-food make it delicious and healthy. What’s the catch here is, you are the person who know their kid in and out (best possible way). You know their likes and dislikes use them for their betterment without making it obvious. On the other hand, this age group is likely to get attracted to the opposite sex and I that case ‘break-ups’ are disastrous for them.
Parents should be frank to their children and know about their relationships because as a child turns 16 they start getting sexual desires which are usually considered ‘bad’ and thus shared among friends instead of parents. This might have many negative effects and a strict environment at home might led to teens taking wrong steps which might lead to unwanted pregnancies, bullying, depression etc. Sex education at the age of 16 should be a mandate.
Parents should never be ‘over-strict’ with children that they start lying or stop telling their life secrets because it will spoil the relationship of both and would not benefit any of the two parties. Teenagers usually expect parents to stay away from their lives, be present when they need them, and supply them with money, let them stay in a mess if they want and in a nutshell just treat with like adults. But that’s not possible, is it. Teenagers consider them adults but they are not so parents have to apply a smart approach in order to control them and never forget teens are clever too.
To conclude, I would like to say the best approach to raise teenagers without spoiling your relationship with them and getting things done in a right away, one of the parent should be strict and other calm. It’s better for mother to be strict because she spends more time with the children usually and fathers to be calm, however vice-versa is also a good way. One has to be a friend, one has to teach what’s right AND be a friend, it might be tough to do so because of unpredictable nature of teenagers but this is a solution for the betterment of both entities. The main aim should be to achieve a happy, healthy, united family in the end.
-Genjourist Sarah Miglani