There is a saying, ‘Parents are representatives of Gods on Earth’. But often, mostly due to lack of knowledge about growing needs of teenagers, parents cause emotional turbulence in their relationships with their growing wards.
Let us first understand the stage of Teenage in one’s life. It is the age when one is neither a kid nor fully grown. If we look at brain anatomy, during teen years, it is still developing. Only at the age of 20, one has a fully grown brain. What’s the effect you may wonder? Let me explain. There is a part called Pre-frontal Cortex among adults, which carries out the function of judgement, decision making etc. Since Pre-frontal Cortex is fully developed among adults, they are capable of balanced decision making. In teenagers, Pre-frontal Cortex is not fully developed, so its function is being carried out by Amygdala, which is responsible for emotions. That is precisely the reason, why parents often find their teenagers decisions to be rash and lacking deep thinking.
Its late in the night. Your loved one has not returned home yet and you, the anxious parent have been taking the rounds of balcony every few minutes. After long few hours of anxiety, finally s/he arrives; you convey your concern and often are hurt by their careless reply ‘did I ask you to wait for me? You should have slept early. I would have served food myself and gone to sleep.’ You become clueless for response and start wondering ‘how come s/he have become insensitive? Not bothered about my losing sleep or peace of mind’.
Relax there is nothing wrong with your beloved child. Its just due to the fact that, s/he is passing through teenage, which is full of energy and enthusiasm, but lacking judgement. Often your concern is being perceived by them as disappointment. So how can I help them grow successful? You may wonder. Here are few tips you can follow, which can help you develop strong bond with your wards and also save them from wrong companies or decisions.
- Do not Dominate: A person develops own identity during teenage. It would be prudent to support teenager by providing right inputs and guidance. An act of dominance often proves to be counter-productive, by way of a strong defense or non-cooperation. Depending on Emotional Quotient (EQ) of the teenager, one may also tend to do just the opposite of what a dominating person wants!
- Communicate Regularly: Often spend time with your teenage wards and encourage open discussion of their issues / concerns / worries. It may take time initially, but once they start believing your genuineness in solving their problems, they will open up. Suggest possible solutions, but do not dictate the actions.
- It’s Okay to Fail: Almost all of us have failed at some point of time in our lives, so it’s not a big deal if teenager fails. Encourage them to learn from their failures. In this way, they will develop their own experience base and help them grow as matured adults. Embracing failures with ease will also help them in risks analysis and management.
- Understand their minds: Teenagers are full of energies and enthusiasm. They have their own way of looking at things and often, even if supposed to be vices to elders, they want to try out themselves. Often encouragement and pressure comes from peers. Keep a check on what companies they keep. Encourage free discussion on all types of queries they may raise. In this way, you get chance to know their inclinations and also provide them with the right information on every issue / query.
- Don’t Criticise or Judge: Criticism often proves to be counter-productive; praise your ward instead. It has been proven with experiments that, Reward Circuitry is highly active among teenagers. That explains why teenagers like to play video games, where fast changing success scores are displayed instantaneously on the screen.
In effect, invest your time and energy into your wards with patience and you will be surprised to see the results. Choice is yours; do you want to give positivity to your ward for positive results or keep on pushing them hard under constant gaze of disbelief and doubt.