Quite often, the years of parenting teenagers can demand more patience, interest and involvement from caring parents!
Initially, these ‘teen years’ may look like dead-end roads with no easy solution to you; but a caring parent will soon find a way out. Mostly, there is rebellion from your teenage children as they do not agree (blindly) to everything you say or suggest. But, this rebellion should not be considered as a personal attack (though, we often do this mistake by taking personal offence and get into arguments!), since it is a difficult situation for even the child who is growing into being an adult soon. I am just learning what or how to play a role of a caring parent to a teenager and sincerely browse through the internet to read more on this subject. Since one year or so, my relation with my child is just ‘only’ friendship. I try to be a friend and not expect that he will obey to whatever I tell him to do. Of course, the times have changed and I cannot really repeat whatever parenting skills my father had adopted. Instead, to arrive at any solution of a problem, my son and we, as his parents, discuss it out!
“Teenage rebellion is not a personal attack on your authority but a necessary stage for teenagers to go through as they forge their separate identity. If you remain curious and interested in this process, you can help them think through their values and ideas. By staying involved in your teenagers’ lives you can get to know them in a different light – as young adults rather than children. Many parents report how satisfying it can be to begin to have adult conversations with their teenagers” (Source: http://www.ivillage.co.uk/parenting/teens)
During these teen years of your child, you as parent have the opportunity to form a different relationship with your child – one that is more adult and equal. In addition, by staying involved – you can share some of your experiences as well take part in knowing their experiences or discoveries. The best part is that my wife and I can share a trusting relationship with our son so that he does not hesitate to ask us any query or share his concern with us. My wife and I make it a point to attend every ‘parent’s day’ function at his school. Then, I realize and appreciate (also envy) that these teenagers face a world full of opportunities. Nowadays, I interact more with my teenager child at home and find out what he is doing on his holidays or free time. My effort is not to police him but to understand his ‘changing’ interests and newly acquired abilities. And, I should say, I am stunned looking at the confidence, dexterity, exposure, curiosity to learn and multi-tasking skills this generation next has.
Parenting is a long term task that is never ending! I know, he confides more to his mother, but I chip in and get involved with whatever I am equipped. Definitely, I have come to know that teenagers develop their own world and are busy throughout the day. They become their own people, with different ideas and opinion and strive to develop their own personality!
In conflict situations, pressing the ‘pause’ button may mean – taking a deep breath and calming down – when you feel yourself getting angry or about to react to a situation. It can be best not to continue the argument but to set a time later to talk things through when everyone is calmer.