The out-of-control teenager is every parent’s nightmare. One day they are restless, the next day they sleep off the entire day and the day after that they are angry and frustrated. You wonder if you are the only one going through this. Remember, more than 90% of parents go through this frustrating phase with their teenage children at some time or the other. This is normal teenage behaviour. However, if your child is physically or verbally abusive, destructive in the house, threatening, stealing, stays out all night, abuses younger siblings or show signs of substance abuse, then these are huge warning signals. This is not a simple out-of-control teenager. These are destructive behaviours which need to be controlled. The earlier you intervene, the better it would be for your child. So don’t be in denial. Take action immediately.
The reason why now days more teenagers are out of control are listed below:
Call for attention
Just like small children, even teenagers find it difficult to cope with changes in their life. Robert had been an only child for his parents for 13 years. Suddenly, after such a big gap, he had a younger sister. The change was a huge challenge for him. He felt all the love and attention showered on him by his parents was usurped by this new infant. He resented the child but he did not know how to express it. The child was too small and too cute to fight with. So, Robert fought with his parents. He broke all house rules, stayed up late watching television, stayed out even after curfew, stopped completing his school homework and allowed his grades to drop.
Thankfully, his parents understood what he was going through and solved the issue by making sure that they gave a lot of attention to Robert. Each of his parents spent one-to-one time with him. These kind of issues can crop up even when the parents separate, quarrel or get divorced. A change in the city, home or school can also affect teenagers and send them out of control.
Teenagers are highly susceptible to peer pressure. At this young age, the need to blend in with the others and to have a group, to belong to, seem very important to them. Teenagers would do anything for this. Trying out substances like cigarettes, alcohol or even drugs, not listening to parents, not completing school homework or not performing well at school can all earn brownie points for them with their peer groups.
Parents need to make teenagers understand that they should not compromise on their morals and values for the sake of these so called ‘friends’. Mostly, teenagers are ignorant about the consequences of their actions. Once they know what can ensue due to their behaviour they would most probably avoid such actions.
Media, television and Internet influence
The Internet is here to stay and keeping a teenager away from it is an impossibility. However, parents do need to monitor the time that a teenager spends with his gadgets and the kind of content that he is accessing. Parents also need to make their teenage children aware that the Internet does not always portray a true picture. The children should feel free and comfortable to approach you whenever they are confused about something they come across online.
An out-of-control teenager is dreaded by every parent. Parents do need to understand that a teenager is also just a child locked up in a fast-growing adult body. The right guidance, love, support and communication can do wonders to improve the parent-teenager relationship.