People who deal with adolescents often associate the phase with something that has to be feared, or compare it to walking on egg shells. But that is really not the correct way to look at things. Many people don't seem to realize that adolescence is an age that is characterized with being a confusing time in a person's life. It is an age in which there are several physical, psychological, and behavioral changes taking place in a person, which happen due to the release of several hormones. It's therefore a time that is neither here nor there (neither a child, nor an adult) and thus there are bound to be times when dealing with adolescence can get to be extremely difficult.
Teenagers are not something to be feared. In fact, one should aim at understanding them so that the solutions of dealing with adolescent behavior make way on their own through experience and understanding. If you need to get a peek into their psyche, understand what it means to be them, and thereby learn how to deal with them, continue reading the remainder of this article.
Understanding Their Behavior
The first and foremost thing that needs to be done? Understand their behavior. This will automatically give you a heads up on dealing with them. As we have already mentioned in the introductory paragraph of this article―teenage years are marked by changes in all spheres of their life, which they themselves are struggling with at most times. That is why, understanding that it is a difficult and confusing time for them will help you go easy on them and for the most part, prevent any sort of clashes.
Until and unless you spend time and learn to interact with them with a view to create a bond, you will never be able to get close enough to them. One, to understand them, and two, to let them know that you're there for them. If they view you as someone who does not understand them, then they are going to just close up with you around. Which you will find, is a much more difficult situation to create for yourself. It has also been seen that spending quality time with them and giving them the proper time will help create a strong base for them to fall back on. It has been studied that people who have a strong home base are less likely to give in to peer pressure.
Talking and Sharing
How are they ever going to feel like you are there for them if they cannot view you that way? Give them a chance to get to know you. Talk to them about their day, ask them questions about the things that happened, the activities that were undertaken at school, the problems or difficulties that they faced, provide solutions where ever and whenever you can. Don't just stop there, learn to share things about your day and life with them as well. In time, they will learn to view you as their confidant and learn to share their activities with you. There is no better condition than this to be in because you know exactly what is happening in your child's life.
Support and Respect
Many parents try to take their children's decisions for them. One needs to stop doing that and allow them to take their own decisions. Even at times when you know that their decision is probably wrong or is going to cause them pain, you have to let them learn from their own mistakes. If you keep hounding them about things, they are going to stop telling you things and that just means that you are creating more and more behavior problems in them.
Don't overdo the bit about wanting to be there for them as their friend. Remember that you are their parent first. Leave them be with their own age group because they are learning important skills by being with others their own age. Just let them know that you are there for them for whatever they need you.
Teens might not always tell you that they are going through a rough time at school (and believe me there will be many like those). It is your duty to keep a keen eye and notice these things for yourself. Notice if they have suddenly gotten quiet, have lost or gained weight, have lost their appetite, and are generally portraying behavior that is unlike their usual self. If you observe any of these behavior patterns, it could mean that they are going through depression or something similar and they need your help.
Being Strict When Required
As a parent, it is your duty to teach them the important values and lessons of life. Spelling out the rules of the house, warning them about social evils and peer pressure, and having an action plan ready for when they fail to adhere to rules is also important. Very, very much so. Why? 'Cause these are the values that they are going to take with them in their adulthood. Also, since teens do not always know the consequences of their behavior and what it spells, it is possible for them to take you for granted. Which is exactly what you need to stop because it is not going to help them any in the future.
Adolescence can get to be extremely scary and daunting for some―both parents and kids. And while there will be those certain erratic behavior patterns at times, understanding teens and helping them understand themselves is one of the best ways in which one can deal with this period better. Here's hoping that you do a great job at parenting your adolescent children.