Is Your Teenager Human?
You may wonder sometimes if your teenager is human. The answer is yes, although you could be excused for thinking otherwise!
You Don’t Understand!
Some of you may remember the Harry Enfield sketch where Kevin, an ordinary child, goes to bed on the eve of his thirteenth birthday, and wakes up as ‘Kevin the Teenager’. Teenage Kevin is rude, surly and complains repeatedly that his parents are unreasonable and don’t understand him. His parents are uncomprehending and bewildered!
The Winds of Change
My nice child will never become like that, I hear you cry. Well it won’t happen overnight and it probably won’t be as extreme as Kevin’s metamorphosis, but your child will change. As long-suffering parents know only too well, teenagers are moody. They are coping with physical changes to their bodies and their emotions are changing enormously too. It’s easy to forget that they are assaulted on all sides by new and strong feelings, which they haven’t had to deal with in the past.
They don’t have the experience of life to help them to deal with these changes, and whilst you, their parent, do have this experience, they may not want your help. Teenagers are fiercely independent. They are not yet adult, they don’t always behave like adults, but they want to be treated like an adult.
As any parent of one will know, teenagers don’t like being told what time to go to bed or when they should be studying, and they especially don’t like being told to tidy their rooms! Teenagers have a habit of retreating into their domains and only emerging for meals, during which time they may not utter a word. Either that or they are out all the time with their friends. You may be under the impression that the only time your teen speaks to you voluntarily is when they want money or a lift!
The Internet Rules
Unlike their parents generation, they don’t spend spend hours on the phone, but instead will be on the internet. If you complain that they are online for five hours every evening, they will argue that they have to do their homework on the internet and that it’s the only way to keep in touch with their friends. It’s difficult to stop them, because not only will they have internet access on their phones, but also on their iPods, Xboxes and Wii’s. Only a technological wizard could prevent access and most parents fall far short of this techie competence.
Forget teenage angst, it’s parental angst that rules in some homes! Teenagers can hurt your feelings by being surly, not wanting to spend time with you and appearing to respect their friends opinions above yours. You worry that they’re not doing their homework or revising for exams. You worry that their friends may be unsuitable. You worry that they may be unhappy. But you’ll never really know because they won’t talk to you!
You don’t want to spend your life worried to death about your teenager, so what should you do?
The Next Step
Now you know what the problems are, then read my follow-up article to help you find the solutions: