Admittedly, it is hard to bring up today’s teenage children. A lot is going on in our lives and theirs too. We have to work for their upkeep, not from 8-5 but 6-6 for most of us! We barely have time to get to know these young adults.
Does your teenager go out a lot? He could actually be going to study with his friend. Thank God for that one but the most of us are having migraines with these young adults. If s/he is not out, they are in the house on phone.
There is a lot going on in your teenage son/daughter’s life but here are just a few likely stuff that your teenage son/daughter’s could be upto. Some solutions have been suggested too.
A lot goes on here. Parties are arranged in here. Love is cooked in this pot known as social media. Statuses are created here. Books are also read and assignments sent via phone. Movies are watched here and the music that booms in his bedroom is made possible by his phone via bluetooth. His/her phone is the most treasured possession. It’s hard for a teenage to not have a phone. Some teenagers have gone to extreme lengths to get cash to buy themselves a phone.
Understand how this child treasures their phone. However, make it known to them that misuse of it could bring repercussions they would not like. Let them borrow yours if they don’t have one yet. Monitor what they do on phone. Limit the time used by assigning time for duties and homework.
With the raging hormones going on in that adolescent’s body, please do not assume that your child is still the virtuous little girl/boy you knew before they joined boarding school. Your child got your looks so they attracted another teenager with similar seething hormones. Don’t be shocked to discover that your innocent looking teenager knows more sex stuff than your forty five year old self.
Please don’t blame that school. Your child is growing. Have that talk; the sex talk with them. Do not be shy. Be real, not idealistic. Talk about unwanted pregnancies, protection, HIV. Speak of the consequences of their actions on their side and yours too. Be calm and pleasant. Don’t rebuke them with a self righteous attitude. Remember, you also were not so good at their age. Need I not remind you of that bush with the neighbour’s daughter when you were fifteen?
3. Sugar parents
They are everywhere. Your best friend could be one of them. Don’t mean to scare you but never trust anyone with your child. Desperate for sweet young pleasure, they prey on the teenagers who are desperate for easy money to parte with! You probably have no idea that teens with sponsors or sponsoresses are looked up upon with adoration by their fellows. They are allowed to pose their selfies in the sugarmummies/daddies posh cars. They pay most bills and they dont do ‘please call mes’.
Fimd out your child’s whereabouts if you are afraid of this happening to your son/daughter. Spy if you have to. Don’t buy those lies of ‘my friend Carol gave me this watch’ or ‘the phone is not mine, it’s Mike’s, I am only using it for some days.’ Also, do not be supermean to your teenager, if he asks for some little cash, be nice. He needs to brag too that his wallet contains some chums.
These young friends are sharing notes on how you are treating them. Note that teenagers are not like wives who will tell their friends everything is ok when their houses are falling apart. These kids tell each other real truths about their homes. Something like, “Waah, this house was cursed, dad and mum are killing each other!” Or “All my mum knows to do is make a lot of noise!”
Your teenage child is not an island. He has friends. With the Corona issue now, he has to stay indoors. Just like you, talking to friends is therapeutic for him/her. It is also good to know your child’s closest friends. Find out where they stay, their parents and where they school. Have their numbers too if you can.
Such a biting vice happening amongst our society. Ever wondered why teenagers brim the cyber cafe on opening and closing days? There you have it. Most of them are checking out porno. They will tell you the easily downloadable sites. They know some pornstars by name and follow them on IG on their phones.
The talk again. Poke your child’s conscience. Talk to him so deeply that guilt eats him up when he googles that porn site. But then again, you can be a stricter parent. Frequently do random demands for that phone,check what they are googling. Ensure they have no access to any other device. Let the computer at home be positioned at an open place. Then pray.
Another friut of peer pressure. Ask those who smoke to tell you their first time smoking experience. Their bodies did not urge them to buy a smoke and off they started the life of smoking. Most will narrate to you how their friends nudged them to have a try and they did, so that they would still keep the friends. Or others wanting so bad to belong or be noticed, did drugs. Others believed when their friends said the effect of the sniff pushes all your problems away.
Ensure your teenage knows his worth. Talk to her often instilling in her virtues of self esteem. Ready him for a world that he has to say No to what is wrong even when it means losing everything. Teach her to face problems bravely and not search for short term solutions. Teach your teenage son/daughter to be a wise leader and not a foolish follower.
Think of this sixteen year old boy who asked for a family meeting one day. He wanted to announce something important. So, with all ears at him, he says he no longer wants to be called Joseph. He has changed religion, he will no longer use his Christian name. In another home, Jennifer has a tatoo of a cult group. The parents are bewildered. They wonder what led to this huge change. It’s a confusing stage this one they are in. To them ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ has the same meaning. They are searching for answers about themselves and their future.
Make time to talk to them often about your beliefs. Let them understand why you believe so. Don’t call the pastor or that outstanding Muslim brother to have the talk on your behalf. Be approachable so that they come to you with questions about life and faith. Be the person that helps them avoid regretful decisions. If they made mistakes before, ensure the mistake is not repeated.
The teenager can’t stop wondering what will become of him with this Covid issue. He has watched too many scary movies about the end of the world. To add on that, she is being cyberbullied. Some rude agemates are making disrespectful comments about her picture.As if that is not enough, Father and mother don’t seem to agree on anything and her best friend is not talking to her. For the boy, he has been rejected by the girl he sacrificed all his pocket money for. Too many problems.
Teenagers are sensitive beings. They look as if they have it all held together. Yet, what might seem a small problem to you may be eating his head off. I am sure you have heard of enough suicide stories. You don’t want to ever be part of such stories so buckle up and be a good listener to your child. Provide a cheerful, secure and peaceful environment in your house.
Seek joy in your house, not perfection. Forgive and forget. Look at the mirror and then at that child. He belongs to you, no matter how many times s/he has failed you. Control your emotions. Anger is a destroyer not a builder. Look back at your parenting journey and see how far you have come from. The last leg is the toughest. Soon the teenager will be such a grown up and you will laugh at how time flies.