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The teenage years are a turbulent time. Raging hormones, pressure from peers, exam worries and thoughts of the future can all leave a teen a little out of sorts. One issue is that most teenagers feel that they’re grown up and mature, but are in many ways still treated like children which can be really frustrating for them. They’re given curfews, and there are rules against them doing things they might want to do- from the clothes they wear, to the people they hang out with. They’re told when to go to bed and when to get up, what chores to do and more- it can make some teens want to rebel. Parents really do know best. We’re well aware that our teens very much don’t ‘know it all’ and are still incredibly vulnerable. It can be hard for them to see that themselves, and all the explaining in the world often won’t make a difference. When they start acting out it can be a difficult time for all of the family, and leave you not knowing what to do. If you’re already the parent to a teen, or you’re just thinking of the future- here are some issues you might come up against and how to respond.
Due to peer pressure or the desire to rebel, teens can be inclined to experiment in dangerous vices such as smoking, alcohol and drugs. In the case of drugs and alcohol, these can pose a very real threat to their lives, consuming too much could lead to a fatality. They also put themselves in a vulnerable position where they could be subject to attacks or accidental injury. Know the signs, if your child is being secretive, hanging around with new people or comes home looking intoxicated then you need to speak with them immediately. Another issue families have to deal with is overuse of technology. Our teens have grown up with technology, it’s very much a part of theirs- and everyone else’s lives these days. However, too much internet use is associated with obesity due to lack of exercise, and it can even be addictive. If you feel that this is the case with your child, you could look into a teen gaming addiction treatment. Psychological addictions like this are similar to those that are addicted to gambling, and affect the brain in much the same way as physical addiction.
One of the best things you can do as a family is to be honest and open with each other. If your children know they can come to you and speak about any issues they’re having, you can educate them and talk them round- instead of them giving into peer pressure. Know that children and teens can and will make mistakes, if you find out they’ve done something you don’t like then screaming and shouting isn’t the answer. Talking about things in a rational way, and treating them like an adult which is really what they crave will resonate with them on a much deeper level.
These years can be difficult for all of the family, but maintaining close relationships and seeking help if it’s needed will help everything run much more smoothly.