Teenagers are like fire crackers. How safely we handle them is all upto us. We can either make them useless by pouring water or beautiful by giving a slight spark or explosive by giving a full fledged fire. Each teenager is different. Hence how we handle them should be different too.
Teenage is a time when they are introduced to too many new ideas and feelings. However close we are to our kids, it is unavoidable that their friends would be their guides. So how to handle this!
Teenage problem are to be assessed in different levels. What I am discussing is just the basic teenage problem.
1. Friends and Outing
I have heard parents say that ” You can go anywhere you want. I will take you there.” This of one of the most foolish thoughts parents could ever have. Just imagine how you would feel if your mother in law would say the same to you and your husband! In short you are being a mother in law to your own child by saying this. The more you restrain your child, even if in the name of love, the more they tend to rebel and lie to you. Some kids obey their parents like good kids but the level of frustration they build up is insurmountable. So let your teenager be with their friends once in a while.
The level of freedom we give is a tricky scenario. You need to give them freedom but make sure the reigns are in your hands. But how? Befriend their friends and their parents. Let them choose their friends but make sure they have chosen the right ones. If you feel that they went wrong with any friends, don’t even by mistake tell them this. The next moment they will tell it to their so called friend and start pretending that they are no longer in touch. Instead befriend the one whom you suspect and try to find something that you could use to convince your kid. You need to wear the robes of a cunning fox for your kids at times.
The romantic angle is the greatest fear. This is a generation where not having a boyfriend or girlfriend is considered a handicap. Even if you find out that they are in a relationship, don’t fret over it. Just educate them about relationship like a friend does. Observe them. You can easily gauge it if they are in a toxic relationship. But to let them realise it and help them take a step, you need to be their friend first and parent later.
4. Gadgets and social media
You cannot always monitor their use of gadgets and social media but keep a secret eye. Don’t even by mistake sneak into their profiles like a mole. The moment they find it out, they will create a fake ID. But it doesn’t mean that you need to fear them. Where it is need to be assertive and say NO, you should invariably do so. Kids should know when you say NO, it is serious.
5. TRAINING YOURSELF
This is the most important part. How you succeed in not letting the tensions affect you is most important. Relax and be calm, else, your anxiety will get to your kids. Don’t let them feel that “Oh my parents are suspicious of me. They are always scared etc etc” They should be rest assured that their parents are very cool but simultaneously they should be wary of rubbing you the wrong way. They should also be comfortable in confessing their mistakes to you.
Eventually whatever we do, if they have to get into trouble, they will definitely get into it. We all have been in trouble at some point of life. We cannot wrap them in cotton wool always. Sometimes to learn the biggest lessons of life they need to fall and get up.