Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teenage- challenge for both parents and kids..

Recently my daughter entered her teen age years and I already started to feel the effects (or side effects) of it.:) I try my best to have very friendly relationship with my kids, they have total freedom to discuss, argue about any issues which they face or any topics they want to discuss but even after all this I am not their friend (like so many other friends they have of their own age) but a parent who is friendly and this fact remains no matter what I do. Even though I consider my self as a very liberal and patient parent I find myself in the middle so many arguments or debates with my kids specially with my daughter, we argue about so many issues related with behavior,  politics, movies, celebrities and many other things there is absolutely no end for topics for us. I find that on many issues she has totally different opinion than me and sometimes it totally surprises me but when I look back and recollect my own childhood (teenage) days I realize that I was also like this during my teen age days, that was the time when I started reading other books apart from my study books. I was introduced to vast and diverse Marathi literature and those books and readings shaped my thinking to large extend. I started questioning many things which were happening around me, I argued over many customs and rituals which I found were totally outdated and should have been abandoned long back and I think same thing is happening with my kids. They are growing up in totally different world than the world in which I grew up, this is era of internet and cable TV and smart phones.

As I wrote in my previous post related with how to train our kids, I believe that every generation is better equipped to collect knowledge than their previous generation (mostly because of advancement in communication technology), they also have different thinking and different sets of rules, different distractions as well as different lifestyle. Generation gap remains between every two generations, now a days it's much narrower but still I can feel it. At different stages of life people think differently, teen age years are unique in this aspect, our body undergoes lot of physical, hormonal changes and they all affect our behavior and thinking in some way or other. At this age kids also have their own perception (and very strong one) about the world around them, most of the time they feel more closer or more connected to their friends than their parents or siblings. I think most of today's parents try their best to become friends with their kids but very few are successful in this, off course age difference and their relationship (as a parent) plays important role in making this task some what difficult, but I think every parent should try to cultivate this relationship.

As a teenager, kids also go through lot of stress and pressure, this is the time when for the first time they are trying to come out of shadows of their parents, they start feeling power of their personality and feel need of independence because of this they try to reject any control or restrictions imposed on them against their will, many times this battle (between parent and their child) turns ugly and very painful for both sides. Healthy arguments and discussions are fine, they are necessary to share ideas and understand each others views but one should be always careful not to turn arguments into verbal fights. Teenagers have very complex thinking pattern, it's not easy for them to deal with changes around them and parents need to understand that these kids are also facing so many new challenges in this phase of life.

Parents should try to help them as their guides and mentors. Kids should feel confident in coming to parents and discussing with them their problems, they should not be scared or worried about their parents reactions all the time, this (worry) creates lot of stress in their mind and they tend to behave differently in front of their parents just to avoid their comments or reactions. Parents should try their best to make them feel comfortable so that they can express themselves freely, remember this is very important phase of their life and our attitude towards them can change the course of our relationship with them. Every child is special, they all have unique qualities and talent, we just need to provide them nurturing and encouraging environment, I think if we do this then parenthood at all stages can be a very enjoyable process.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

Reference:
1. Link to watch documentary "Inside teenage brain" documentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvmMiFHTifY

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