Our children won’t stay little babies forever – they grow up. Please accept this fact and try to be there for them because it's difficult. Do you remember?
That is how it goes, adolescence comes. This time period is basically different than the sweet toddler times.
We have to confess, these are not easy years. But only depends on how we handle it, and if we get a chance to try to give more attention. It's worth it. This period is full of challenges and trials which could be stormy and cloudy sometimes.
In the time of adolescence, the most important question is, “who am I?” .
Teens want to be himself/herself; an individual who is looking for his place in this world, find his personality, and be able to control it alone.
That is all alright, but who to follow, who is the example? People at school, at home, parents, friends, etc.?
How parents can help?
Just like in every relationship, the quality of our relationship, and how did we build up our communication with our child are very important. It is the basic rule to be there for them when they need you, because THEY NEED YOU. Don’t leave them alone with their problems. Keep asking them about their thoughts and feelings.
- Family is always first on the priority list. From birth, a child needs to know that family comes first. Family events and evening dinners should be enjoyable that the child wants to be there. Otherwise, when teenage time comes, they will run away.
- Let’s hope that the child’s example is his or her parent. The truth is that this is the time that the child realizes that his mother and father isn’t perfect. Sometimes it is a very shocking experience for the child. So you need to make him already understand earlier that mommy and daddy are human. Show when you make mistakes, or explain when you aren’t the best person in the world.
- When he realizes that mom and dad is not the best, he starts to look for other examples. For example, a celebrity – then we have to ask him why that person, what is the attribution of that man/woman that makes him/her decide to follow that person. Get closer, you have to talk about this, and if the teen has an oblique or askew mirror, then we better correct that and make it clear.
- And what if the example is someone from the school, a classmate who is not really an example only just a person who is an “ace” student in the school and nothing more. There is something we have to put in a right row. Because in this case, your teen is in a trap. Maybe in this case, it's not about looking up to someone, but mostly about not knowing where to go, who to follow, and find his own way. Or maybe he wants to make you angry. Or maybe he thinks being part of a gang or by being close to that person, he can be a better person for the outside world. It is very important to be there at this moment, first realize this fact, then try to help with your knowledge.
We can try to convince them about their own strength and personality, which is of course, not ready yet but definitely already there.
You can highlight their positive and negative qualities, just to make sure they know about them.
Then ask them to think about these positive qualities, talk with them, share your opinion about it, bring up examples from your teen days and your adult days. This gives them a kind of way of thinking about themselves, a mirror of who they are, and you can hype up their self-confidence which is always important for a healthy adult life. By this, you are giving a helping hand to them, and teens will be able to find a right way to be proud of who they are without copying anybody else.
Another truth in the time of adolescence is that they start to think abstractly.
They imagine how they react in a concrete situation. And less and less accept the ready answers and solutions. They want to follow their head. And that is quite all right. So after all of that, you are a helper, and have to be an acceptor too. Teens are hyper-sensitive to “you must be like this.” Avoid that, don’t try to direct them directly, only from the back, don’t try to subjugate them.
Every teen has to find their way sooner or later, and that is our task, to help them.
Listen to your intuition, see their claim, and find a balance in this “pull and let it slip” situation.