Being a parent is fairly demanding, and that’s even more true when you’re taking care of teenagers. And while these kids no longer need you to change their diapers, they have other pressing needs that most parents tend to forget about.
The fact is, teens are an emotional bunch who need your tender, loving care to grow up healthy and well-rounded. As their bodies change to become bigger and adult-like, they seem to be more stressed out with their everyday lives as they adjust to the changing world within and around them.
Often, they would be prone to blow-ups. Sometimes, they might change into a different person, one that you never saw in them as a child. And when this happens, don’t panic. This could be as normal as it could ever be.
With their developing sexual organs, teenagers would start to feel things that they may have never felt before. Boys may start to feel awkward upon realizing their random crushes while girls may have mood swings during their monthly cycle. However, these are absolutely normal emotional reactions. As their parent, it’s up to you to assure them that it really is nothing to be ashamed of.
Even though they may have sex education at school, your teens may find it easier to ask questions to you instead of to a teacher in their classroom. You can also share your own tips, both as a parent and as a former teenager. But best of all, you can both have a good bonding moment together while talking it out.
Crushes, Heartbreaks, and Dating
Partly a consequence of their raging hormones, your kid may act up when teased about their crushes. Either that, or they may be experiencing the lows that come with dating. As adolescents, this could be the first time they would spend time with another person of the opposite sex. In a way, they may get nervous and stressed out, only blowing up at home where they feel the most secure.
In this case, you may want to be their most trustworthy friend and talk to them about their romantic issues. Teens can be very appreciative of your advice as long as you listen to them first. Most teens may find it weird when you tell them to do exactly how you did back in your youth. They may seem to think that it no longer works in their time. Better yet, try encouraging them to have the self-confidence to have a hearty discussion with their dating partners.
They Could be Trying to Become Independent
Unlike the toddlers they were when they were starting to do things on their own, teens feel more social pressure to become independent people. As such, they may find it annoying when you, as a parent, would want to do things for them. They also might find it embarrassing when other teens find out your role in their life.
In a way, the best you can do here is to give them the freedom to be independent. But whether or not you would let them decide on things is up to your call. You can let them “earn” their freedom by having them prove that they can judge things with a clear mind, just as adults are supposed to do.
When It’s Not Normal Anymore
Now, these may all be normal reasons for why your teens may be acting up. But there is a normal blow-up and a dangerous one. In many cases, your kid might start to do dangerous things, such as abusing alcohol or other substances. Left unattended, this could become a lifelong habit that could stay with them throughout adulthood.
When this happens, you should ask for professionals who could give addiction help for adolescents. They may need counselors and therapy to get them through their problems. Through therapy, they can learn how to manage their feelings and change their destructive behaviors into more productive ones.
But when they do need this help, you should remember that it is neither your fault nor your child’s. In fact, you shouldn’t bring the blame on anyone. You should focus your efforts on empowering your child, helping them through therapy so they can integrate back to society as soon as they can.
Doing Your Best
Being a parent comes with its own unique challenges, but so does being a teenager. While it may seem like you were an adolescent ages ago, for your teen, it’s still very fresh and new to them. By being alert to their changes and knowing what is and is not normal, you can help be the very best parent possible — allowing your teen to grow up into a healthy, mature adult you can be proud of.