It still puts a smile on my face when I recall how I was not different from just any other teenage brat and how my father had his logical ways with my rebellious attitude. Be it his best friend struggling with his growing son or my own mother coping up with my tantrums – my father had always one advise for everyone – to be friends with their kids after a certain age. His belief was based on three things (as I happened to discover gradually)
- Because our holy book Gita says so,
- Because of his personal experience with his own father, and
- Obviously because it did not take him an expert’s Daddy-must-do thick book to come to terms with such belief; his wisdom and vision were enough.
We know how regular teenagers can be prone to problems (social/ mental/ physical). The most awkward growth stage from 13 to 19 attracts a lot of external and internal struggles, be it puberty, social aspects or parental forces. Those who have absentee parents are exposed to more adverse states of life. The issues can be dealt with easily if parents can understand the symptoms of their problems. I think that is exactly where my father liked to intrude in – parents’ approach towards their teen’s problems. It is very easy to thrash and silence your child for having brought trouble at home but the way I see it, a permanent solution only lies in sensitization/ education of kids. That definitely needs friendship because to be able to let your children confide in you with their insecurities needs courage. By education I don’t mean the knowledge confined to pages of books but my belief supports the proverb ‘Charity begins at home’..
Image courtesy : Movie, Gippi
Although aspects of teenage problems are wider than we think, however particularly the social aspect have been found to leave a grave impact.
Half of the time a sixteen year old spends time in thinking about what he/she appears like to other fellow mates. Their wish to be someone they’re not, not only shakes their personality but brings about a sense of inferiority complex that proves harmful for their mental peace and their puerile ability to adjust in situations. To raise self-esteem requires the attainment of an insight that tells it comes from within and only you can improve how you see yourself because successful people radiate self esteem, not self-disgust.
Independence – the right amount
As children enter adolescence, they often seek for more freedom. Parents have a tough time between wanting their children to be confident and able to be self dependent and knowing that the world is full of grey. To strike the perfect balance between being too free with child or instead too denying is very difficult. Research tells us that adolescents do best when they remain closely connected to their parents but at the same time are allowed to have their own points of view and even to disagree with their parents.
Starting from gaming to social networking to smoking to drugs – a teenager is generally vulnerable to addiction of all kinds which turn harmful. While lack of proper company or vulnerability to immaturity is the top most reason, well, one of the most important facts is there is some serious dearth of proper education about the harmful effects.
In the USA, drug abuse is a major problem affecting millions of teenagers, along with their parents and families. Also, those who have IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) may experience distress, withdrawal symptoms including obsessive thoughts, tremors, and other mental and physical problems.
It is necessary that parents, schools, media, etc, educate the young children about the dangers of drugs and excessive use of internet in a creative way.
There prevails a very wrong sense of the term competition in today’s world. Beginning from the early school days we are affected with a sense of getting better than the rest and not than our previous selves. It is a pity how some parents teach their children to not share notes with others or spill about some good opportunity coming their way, just in case the other one achieves success before they do. Isn’t that mean? Instilling such ideas in young minds is not only unhealthy but it is a way of killing the blooming minds with a lifestyle full of insecurities and jealousy. No one should be robbed off the chance of shaping themselves the way they dream to.
The truth is all teenagers have been at the receiving end of their parents’ wrath once or twice in life when they’ve been specifically told how burdensome they are to their lives. I understand why handling a teenager gets on nerves sometimes but if that’s not enough, their ways can become worse if parents fail to understand their children.