What’s the Best Way to Deal With Common Teenage Woes?

parent and teenIf you have a teenager, you’ll know that rebellion seems to be their uppermost priority. Only a few years ago, family wellness was a breeze and your kid looked up to you like you were the greatest person in the world and, now, it feels like your teenager is going out of their way to harass you. Your teen is going through immense physical and emotional changes, which can take its toll on their wellbeing, as well as yours, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it until you pack them off to university.

Part of adolescence is about separating and individuating. Though it’s tough to deal with when your teenager starts disregarding what you say, this is their way of finding their own identity. Yes, your child has hurt you, which makes you want to retaliate but, as the parent, your job is to remain as calm and patient as possible, as you’ve been through it yourself and you know it’s just a phase. Make sure your teen knows you’ll always be there when they need you, and they’ll at least confide in you every once in a while.

Most parents are concerned for their teenager’s wellness when they see them with a mobile phone six inches away from their face for the better part of a day, but the important thing is to not overreact. Banning the mobile phone and cutting your teenager off from their friends will only give you more grief. Instead, try setting reasonable limits by no phones during mealtimes (which goes for you too!) You could also get them to pay their own mobile bills so they don’t overdo it.

If your teenager has a smartphone, it’s harder to keep an eye on their online activities, but one thing you can control is the family computer. Don’t let your teen have a computer in their bedroom, but instead keep it in the living room so you can be more aware of what they’re looking at, and how long they spend surfing online. You can also try using software that helps you monitor the use of any questionable web sites.

Finally, it can be frustrating when your teenager stays out too late, especially with friends you don’t approve of, but the way you deal with it is all-important. Make sure you’re setting a reasonable curfew, that’s not out of line with what your friends set for their kids, and give your teenager a 15-minute grace period. Communicate with your child to make sure they’re not unhappy at home, and that they’re not involved in dangerous practises with their friends that could affect their wellness. However, if they miss curfew by a huge margin, ground them for a week, and, if your child is experimenting with drugs with friends, it’s time to have a serious talk and consider taking professional counselling.

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