Raising teens is full of challenges and intrigue

CONTEMPLATION: Teenagers often spend time alone in their rooms.
CONTEMPLATION: Teenagers often spend time alone in their rooms.

Teenagers are often absorbed in a world within themselves. They withdraw from contact with others, and are limited by self-centredness. "Are you listening to me?" is a common plea from parents and teachers in response to their sulking and silence.

Teenagers are often absorbed in a world within themselves. They withdraw from contact with others, and are limited by self-centredness. "Are you listening to me?" is a common plea from parents and teachers in response to their sulking and silence.

Because their social role is unclear, teenagers are inclined to sensitivity, shyness and aggressiveness to mask their insecurity.

Social fears are common, such as being ignored, feeling rejected, losing control, looking foolish and feeling rejected.

There is also a very bright and fulfilling side to parenting teens that is often overlooked. Simple joys in parenting teenagers include acknowledging when your teens:

l Dress appropriately;

l Use caring behaviour with siblings and other family members;

l Master tasks that previously baffled them;

l Introduce their friends to family members;

l Become more independent and increase their responsible behaviours - such as completing homework and chores - on time; and

l Discuss problem-solving skills, ideas, solutions and values.

Teenagers often present many unique challenges including:

l Isolating themselves and spending all of their time at home in their own rooms;

l Experimenting with drugs and alcohol;

l Staying out past their agreed-upon curfews;

l Not getting up on time for schooling;

l Cutting classes;

l Repeatedly not completing homework assignments; testing family guidelines and values; and

l Testing their loved ones' patience with surly, bad attitudes.

When dealing with a challenging teen remember, they must learn to make choices and commitments and follow through with them.

Teens need to be respected for tackling these tasks. It is easy for parents to get frustrated as their teenager swings back and forth between dependence and independence.

False starts, poor judgment and mistakes are all a part of growing up. The main task of adolescence requires teenagers to learn, and this kind of learning is best done by trial and error. - Parenting Teens

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