The days of your child looking up to you as their major role model has passed. They have grown and entered into teen-hood facing many stresses. They are struggling with finding oneself, friends, and simply fitting in. It is a world filled with peer pressures and the demands of being cool. Their peers, media, and celebrities are now their main influences. You will have to accept you are no longer the person they look up to.
It is inevitable, your teenager may find themselves hanging out with the wrong crowd, at parties with drugs and alcohol, and in situations where it is just the wrong place and time. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. You cannot stop this. You have been there. You must roll with it and do your best to guide your teenager out of trouble as much as you can. You may not be the one that they look up to now, but you are still their guide to a lifeline. If your teen has fallen into a troubled path like teen drug addiction, have become defiant, or shows any signs of stress, as one parent to another, here is my advice to you:
Get involved with your child. No matter what it is. You may not approve of their music, what they like to do, how they dress, or whom they hang out with. You must set that aside. Remember how it was like when you were a teenager. Unless you were an old soul, you did not have the same interests as your parents and vice versa. Take an interest in what your teenager likes to do, it will keep the doors slightly open to your teenager being able to communicate with you when they feel troubled.
Keep your eyes, ears, and nose open
Be attentive to what your teenager is saying and read their body language. You must listen without judgment. If your child can speak to you openly, congratulations! Consider yourself a lucky parent. You are doing something right. For most parents, it takes some time and effort to get there. Observe your teenager’s behaviors, like what your teenager likes to do with their friends. Have their friends over and get to know them. When your teenager comes home from a party, check out their body language. Are they avoiding eye contact or do you smell alcohol? It may not be as obvious. Read signs of trouble like depression or anxiety. If you do detect something not right, never verbally or physically attack your teenager no matter how much you want to scream. Take a few deep breaths, empathize that these are teen experiences, and talk to your teenager about the dangers that they may be faced with.
Teenagers rebel or do things without carefully thinking about the consequences for many reasons. You can be doing the best you can as a parent and yet your teenager still rebels. They are just being teenagers. It is proven that a teenager’s brain is developing ideas and ideals. They are testing themselves and unfortunately their parent’s patience unknowingly. Do not fret. Love your teenager unconditionally. They will need you through these troubled times.
It is no doubt that at one point in their lives your teenager will feel troubled. As the parent, you cannot let that defeat you. Do not ignore it. Embrace your teenager’s interest, read their signs, and love them no matter what. Your teenager will feel that they have your support and their troubles less troubled!