Adolescence is the most awkward stage of life. Hearing things like,
“You’re too old for that.”
“You’re too young to have that.”
“We’re your parents. Only we know what’s best for you.”
Things start to get confusing. He begins to question himself, “Am I too old?” “Am I that young?” “Where do I belong?” With this disorientation and confusion, comes his curiosity to find out and discover things himself for himself.
The Anatomy of Adolescence
Adolescence is the period between 13 and 19 years old. No longer a child, but not yet an adult. It’s the transitional period. A time when he starts to explore things and got curious about some changes that are happening in his body. This is when he starts to seek for independence and tries to build his own identity.
Adolescence Seeking for Independence
“My childhood is a lie.”
This is what your teenager thinks after knowing that you just tricked him every Christmas Eve. It’s obvious he was betrayed. How else can he trust words such as,
“We will be here no matter what.”
“We only want what’s best for you.”
“Trust us.This is for your own good.”
Trust? Just how can he trust you now?
He is the most confusing part of his life. He no longer knows what to believe. Thoughts are playing with him that parents don’t know what he wants, what he needs, and what’s best for him. His parents cannot always save him. He can only trust himself, and the single person who is always behind him is his friends.
One day you’ll wake up arguing about his independence, letting him do what he wants, the way he wants it.
How to Overcome This Stage of Rebellious Teenage Years
An argument is a familiar sight to every home with teenage kids, and most parents just wanted to give up. Getting emotionally fed up, they quickly get angry and will try to stop it by shouting or yelling. Your emotional outbursts and anger will not solve the problem, but would only make it worse.
Settling it through violence is not showing your kid a good example. How will you deal with your teenager then?
- Try to understand the overwhelming changes that your teenager is experiencing, both physical, emotional, and environment. You may be right, he’s no longer a kid, but he’s also not yet mature to understand everything. He is confused. You should be there to guide him through.
“Your teenager may give the impression of not caring what you think, but they need you now as much as ever. Do your best to be openly available for relaxed conversation whenever your child seems to want that,” said Dona Matthews, PhD.
- Teenage anger usually is due to frustration and embarrassment. Hormonal changes and peer pressure can also be a factor. Help them deal with it constructively. Talk to them. Know what’s causing them to feel that way. If things are already out of control, have a psychologist or relatives help you.
“When families rid themselves of nagging, relationships get infused with more energy and compassion. Parents get to know and appreciate teenagers for who they are, not just for what they do,” said Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD.
- Give your teenager space when he asked for it. Sometimes, he needs to sort things out on his own.
- Bond with him. Do activities he likes together (check out some recommendations here: babble.com). This will help you bring back his trust.
- Hug him more. Hugging will help him heal. This will assure him that you are indeed there for him, giving him a sense of security.
- Set goals for him. Make sure he does well in school, but with no pressure. See if he got responsible set of friends, but never judged his friends.
- Guide him in putting a structure in his life. Slowly give him the independence he needed to learn. Point out that there are boundaries, rules, and consequences. Trust him that he can do it.
“Parents let go by giving more independent decision-making responsibility. They do mindfully by specifying what they first need from the teenager before being willing to put that eager young person at risk of more personal freedom,” said Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD.
Adolescent years are just temporary. You passed through this stage in your life. Of all people, you are the one who should understand what your teenager is going through. Always keep an open mind, and he will open up to you.