Monday, January 30th, 2012

How To Manage Teenage Blues

teenage bluesRearing a teenage kid makes you practice patience with perseverance. All of a sudden your polite and well behaved child has transforms in a sullen and rebellious teenager. Certainly, teen years are quite tumultuous both for parents as well as the teenager. The teenage child goes through a growth spurt that includes a rewiring of the neural pathways of different cells. This heightened electrical activity explains some of the erratic behaviour in teens.

The path from a child to an adult is erratic and, at times, teenagers appear to be going backwards. This is the time when your child undergoes so many physical, hormonal and psychological changes. Sudden transformation in their body image, mental thought, coming maturity, increasing parents’ expectations, peer pressure are too much to handle. A lot of other factors such as failed romances, low self-esteem (look wise), trouble at school and loneliness, etc. also lead your child to unhappiness and depression, aggravating unnecessary stubbornness and rigidity in them.Frequent mood swings, secretiveness, tantrums, change in food habits, streak of independence, mark behaviour of teenage children. At times over concern shown by parents too can irritate the child.

Dr Vadana Tara, Expert Consultant Child Psychology at Moolchand Medcity has a plan to help you deal with teenage blues.

As a parent of a teen you must focus to change your attitude in handling them. Pick your battles wisely. Instead of fretting over your child’s haircut, be more concerned about the friends he keep, as they cast immense influence on his behaviour, suggests Dr Tara.

Give your child some time and privacy. Different teenagers may experience blues differently, so you need to understand that though it is stressful, it is a phase of growing up and give them their own space and time to handle it, she says.

Treat him like his age and realize the fact that he is not a child anymore. Take his opinions and advice with respect. Talk to him more often and if he does not seem to appreciate that just let him know that you are there to help him in case he needs you. Though most teenagers do not seem to have much need for their parents anymore, they definitely crave for their approval and appreciation, which they might not be able to show it. So understand the unspoken words and support him right way.

Relax the restrictions on him somewhat, though not to the extent that there are no limits at all. For example, if the bedtime had earlier been 9:00 pm, it could now be relaxed to 10:30 p.m.

Try to know his peers and friends by inviting them over to your house. If he does not seem too keen on that, leave it for the time being and try again after a while. This will help him feel independent and in turn will help you to know what company he keeps.

Talk about the importance of a social life. Encourage your teen to broaden his horizons, either by socializing and meeting new people or taking up a new hobby and finding his passion in life. But first you must share your own teen time secret to make him feel connected. Else it can be another pressure on them

Avoid comparison. In teenage, kids compare themselves in every way to each other to fit in their peer group. So as a responsible parent you should never bring comparisons from your end in any situation Rather help him to recognize his plus points and tell him he’s smart.

Give your child sex education. Now is the time when the child may get attracted to opposite sex. They should be made aware about hazards of casual sex.

Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and praise him when he succeeds. Your recognition and approval go a long way.

Allow to follow his interest in his own way, even if it creates inconvenience for you. Waking up a 5 a.m. every Saturday, for example, to take your child for a football practice may not be fun, but if this is what he enjoys and excels at, then it’s your responsibility as a parent to encourage him.

Serve comfort food. Share a quiet simple meal, or cook your child’s favourite dinner, or better, offer to bake a batch of cookies together to your child as it can help him feel relaxed, understood, and consoled.

Rest, be assured that this phase will pass and your child will grow up as an adult. There will be times when you will feel like tearing your hair apart. In such events do not shout or scream on your teenage kid, because it will not serve purpose. With immense patience stay quiet and give yourself a ‘time out’ and re-approach the subject when both of you have cooled off. Remember, teen years are tumultuous for the child and all he needs from you is love and compassion to overcome teenage blues.

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Category: Kids & Teen
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