There are some common behavioral problems faced by most parents. Parents of adolescents are constantly engaged in discussing how unruly and disobedient the growing generation is, ignoring all along that ” No child is born like that” Actually this is the time when young people are busy exploring- “Who am I?” and “What do my relationships mean to me?”, ” How should I conduct myself in this society that is busy condemning even the simplest of my desires?” while finding answers to all these questions preferences, interests and personalities begin to blossom.
According to Raymond A.Kurin, “Perhaps the most pervasive behavioral change are those occasioned by the emergence of interest in the opposite sex. A development prompted by sexual maturity”
Due to various biological factors, both boys and girls become extremely conscious about their appearance. Boys feel miserable because of their, ‘lean frame’ (as height increases more in comparison to weight ) and take to body building. Girls are conscious about their figures and facial appearance and therefore are normally spotted posing in front of the mirror or trying on different outfits before going to a party.
All these efforts are directed to gain acceptance in their society a society comprising of equally restless and vivacious youngsters -who are out to impress each other. They like to identify themselves with a particular group that shares their views and ideology. As a result boys normally form gangs and girls believe in just one or two like minded ‘best friends.’
It is at this point of time that adolescents drift away from parents and their families. This gradual ‘drift’ creates many complications. Parents don’t like it and get worked up when their son or daughter after spending long hours together in school, indulges in lengthy telephone conversations with friends. Hot scenes and arguments widen the gap between parents and children.
At this juncture, adolescents find solace in relationships with members of the opposite sex. Boys find emotional support in their girl friends, someone who listens to their daily outbursts and also inflates their male ego all along.
Girls, on the other hand, are starry eyed and are always on the lookout for a ‘young Lochinvar’ or ‘prince Charming’ who would come in his ‘shining armor’ and sweep them off their feet.
Another area regarding adolescence is “anger”. If parents are irritated about some negative behavior of their youngster, they should indicate their irritation rather than smiling peacefully hiding their irritation. This would only convey hypocrisy and not kindness. Parents as a rule should not hide their anger but express it effectively without creating resentment and a sense of revenge. However angry the parents may be, they should never insult the teenager’s personality or character or use an abusive term which gets firmly imprinted in the youngster’s mind. In course of time he/she begins to identify himself/herself with that description.
A teenager’s behavior is seldom stable. One moment he is excited about something and the next moment he gets worked up over nothing.
“Leave me alone”
“Don’t bother me.”
Defiant behavior is a common cause of parental concern .
“I simply asked my daughter to change into a more acceptable outfit during a family wedding. She threw a tantrum in front of everyone.”” I don’t know why you enjoy interfering in every damn thing. What’s wrong in wearing a short dress.”
Teenagers like to assert themselves as individuals
Adolescents like to be noticed as independent individuals having a personality of their own. They don’t like to project themselves as somebody’s son or daughter all the time.
“Your adolescent child’s difficult behavior does not signal his loss of respect for you or all that you stand for . It only points to the need for communicating better.
Generation gap” is a myth. A term, we take refuge in, use convince ourselves that nothing can be done. Generation gap can be bridged if only you really care.
But before proceeding, let us clarify two doubts that are put forth by almost all adults.
” My parents brought me up this way and I grew up right; why doesn’t it work with my son?”
We generally forget that the world is changing fast . You cannot that there are a few “decades” between you and your adolescent son and that is indeed a lot of time, and consequently implies a lot of change.
” I have been bringing him up this way since he was a child. So why change now?”
He is different now. Isn’t he? Every adolescent wants you to recognize that he is big and demands to be treated like any adult. When he can’t, others have a problem. Smaller children may accept instructions more easily and act the way you want them to. As they grow up, they do question your authority and no longer hide their resentments when parental pressure is used. Punishments which did work well in the past, now may backfire. Trying to cow them with threats may only propel them to pay you back with the same coin.
Every adolescent is trying to find his bearings in the adult world. He is often confused about what he should do or how he should behave. He needs an anchor to hang on to in this period of turbulence.
This is a period when crucial decisions are made-decisions that will determine his future. Only when a strong parent child relationship exists, can you influence him to take the right decisions. he needs to stay emotionally close to you . And, you need to help him stay this way by communicating well.
Parents have to keep loving and extending their affection to youngsters. Even after an argument or a difference of opinion, dialogues between parents and children should never stop . When we call a halt, the teenagers start keeping things to themselves. Thus gradually there is a decline in the volume of communication even leading to total communication block.