Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Along With Your Teenager

Have you ever felt that every time you talk to your teenager it turns into an argument? Do you think your teenagers spend all their time with friends you don’t approve of and that they care more about their friends that their family? Do you ever wonder why your teen is being so difficult? I heard a friend recently explain that she was certain an alien came down and had taken her 13-year-old daughter’s brain and replaced it with an alien form.

These are common complaints of parents of teenagers. They feel as though the young child, whose world once revolved around them, has vanished and in his or her place an indifferent, often irritable teen now exists. These parents don’t understand how a loving child can change so drastically.

Relax! First of all, most parents deal with this. Second, as your children enter their teens, their perception of the world around them is no longer limited to the one once explained by you. Their brain is now capable of complex reasoning and things that once went unquestioned now must be decided upon for themselves. Your children are also exploring belief systems and ideologies different from what they were raised on. This may explain why they hang around with peers whom you don’t approve of as well as why they challenge your decision a great deal more often than before.

Teens are beginning to function as individuals. The heated arguments that are generated are either an effort to grasp what you believe or gain some independence. This tension will die down as they grow older and more confident in who they are and what they believe. Remember, though it may seem that your child couldn’t care less about your opinion (you know the “rolling eyes” routine?) most teens say that their parents are still the deciding factor in what they believe and who they will eventually become.

Think of all the adults you know that say they swore they would never be like their parents . . . only to become parents and find themselves being just like their parents. Think about it!