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 Post subject: My mother drives me crazy!
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:38 am 
My mother drives me crazy!
Get along with your teenager

@ DM / 21MAR2006

Can teenagers and parents live together in peace? Says a mother. ‘All I want is for my son to be happy and secure ', and says her son ‘It is she who makes my life miserable, her worrying drives me crazy!’

It is bewildering for a parent to watch a pleasant child turn into an unruly teenager. Suddenly nothing suits him and his parents are old fashioned. If you value neatness he will be sloppy, if you insist on good manners he will interrupt conversations use slang and belch in company.

However there is a slight consolation in that his behaviour fits his development, his personality is changing He disobeys and rebels not to defy his parents but to define his own identity.

Here are a few guidelines for parents to follow so as to have a better relationship with their rather difficult teenager.

Accept his restlessness and discontent.

It is not helpful to ask him ‘What is the matter with you?’ rather tolerate this restlessness and respect this loneliness and accept this discontent.

Differentiate between acceptance and approval you can tolerate unlikable behaviour without sanctioning it.

For instance if his long hair style bothers you say so but leave him free to continue with his harmless revolt.

Don’t try to offer instant understanding. When troubled by conflicts, teenagers feel unique, no one has ever felt this way and they feel insulted when you say ‘I know how you feel, at your age I felt the same’.

It distresses them to seem so naïve and simple when they feel mysterious and inscrutable. They are helped by our attentive silence and active listening rather than our instant advice.

Don’t try to be like them.

Children are childish, adults must be adultish. Teenagers deliberately adopt a style of life that is different from ours, when we imitate their style we only force them into further opposition.

Don’t invite dependence.

Dependence invites resentment. A wise parent makes himself increasing dispensable, allow them whenever possible to make their own choices and use their own powers.

Don’t violate his privacy.

By providing the teenager privacy we demonstrate respect, be careful that this privacy does not border on allowing your teenager excess liberties to do just what he want or enter areas which would endanger him, but remember your son does not want a pal but a parent. Use your knowledge to guide him not direct him.

Don’t belabour the future and prodding your teenager to grow up and loudly lamenting his future if he does not get up on time, or study etc. This reverse psychology invariably leads to spiteful behavior, besides children tend to live up to the role cast for them by their parents. So don’t nag merely indicate what needs to be done?.

Don’t judge opinions and tastes.

Parents react to their teenager’s statements with approval or disapproval, yet the best and most helpful statement would be to be non judgmental.

Set standards and demonstrate values.

Our teenagers need to know what we respect, what we expect and what we live by.

They need limits not restrictions set amidst anger and arguments but limits set according to our values. Our teenagers may not always lie our stands but they will respect our integrity and strength, our values give them the courage to stand against peer pressure and go against the crowd in refusing drinks or drugs or joining in a drag race.

We must show them that while we are permissive in dealing with their feelings, we reserve the right to redirect some acts and our love for them is our main support.

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