Adolescents at home: 7 educational and communicative keys for parents
Adolescence is a stage of discovery, of changes, of decision making, of awakening the world through the very eyes of a child who, little by little, is becoming a responsible adult.
It is a complex stage because the personality is still being built , and important changes occur in the school context.
Adolescence: a (hard) way to go
In psychological consultations, complaints by parents are frequent. Irritable teens, who do not meet established standards , who begin to have dangerous friendships and who have academic problems.
From the position of parents, adolescence is often described as a time of many fights, confrontations and disputes, to the point where the situation can become totally unbearable. What do you do when you live with teenagers at home? Is there a guide for parents in distress?
You are interested in reading: "Rebellious teenagers: 6 tips for parents in distress"
Tips for a good coexistence with teenage children
Problems have a solution, and although adolescence is a complicated age, everything is remedied if the appropriate educational seeds are sown.
Then we offer you some advice, both educationally and communicatively , that can help you to enjoy more the stage of adolescence of your children.
1. Let them explore the world
Young people need to define many aspects of their life: their personality, their friendships, their preferences ... This is something normal, and we must understand that they can be inconsistent in their opinions and tastes . In this way they try and decide; it's the way they can finally make decisions.
Just as adults need time to buy, in the same way a teenage son seeks to make the best decision, only that he is just beginning to do so, to discover himself, and therefore it takes time to develop that skill .
2. Let's listen to them sincerely
We must teach (and encourage) adolescent children to express their thoughts and feelings . For this, the most important thing is that we listen to them without judging, criticizing or humiliating them.
Young people do not usually talk to their parents precisely because they do not know how to listen and perceive them as a threat, as adults who only want to correct and punish them. But we must remember that when a young person comes to us to talk it is because he really needs it, he needs to be listened to, and the worst thing we can do is to lecture them and judge them negatively. If we want our children to place trust in us, we must offer our sincere help for when they need it, to know that we are a faithful supporter. Anyway, It is not convenient that we solve their problems: doing it by themselves will allow them to take responsibility and mature .
3. Accept your criteria and your decisions
If they are decisions that will not harm you, let them choose . This point is very difficult for many parents, because they are used to deciding for their children and obviously always decide what they think is best for them.
This is the moment when they must make their own decisions, even if these decisions are contrary to our tastes or way of thinking. The most common examples: how to dress, the music they listen to, physical appearance, among others. They are aspects of their lives in which we can try to influence with the left hand, but never impose our criteria .
4. Let them make mistakes: mistakes can also be learned
As adults, we know that our adolescent children must experience the good and bad things of life, in pursuit of their learning and maturational development. We can not lock our children in a glass bubble, we must let them grow . That is, we must let them think, reflect, act, and of course make mistakes, because mistakes allow them to mature. Phrases like: "I told you so" ... "I will not cry, I warned you" and other similar cancels the possibility that the child feels that he has the right to make mistakes, how will he learn to make his own decisions without making mistakes?
We must keep in mind: we also feel fear of being parents and above all of making mistakes. Surely during our lives we have made many mistakes, these allowed us to mature and grow, and our family members forgot the bad times. Now, the adolescent can feel in his own flesh the fear of being an adult, but it is comforting to know that his parents love him, despite his mistakes. Let's support them, guide them, and when they're wrong teach them to take the consequences .
5. Learn to apologize if we have made any mistakes
The best way to teach is with constant example. If as parents we make a mistake, it is best that we apologize and rectify , is the most important maturity sample that can be taught to a child.
Precisely in this stage of adolescence is when children begin to realize the mistakes of their parents, so adults usually irritate us more easily, because our children now think, analyze, compare, decide and, consequently, are made an idea or criticism of the environment, also of our abilities as parents. Unfortunately, many adults expect and demand that our children apologize when they commit a fault, but we, as adults, rarely do so. We are afraid to show ourselves weak before them. However, apologizing is an act of maturity and courage, and it is not true that we are losing credibility or power before our children. On the contrary: we will be gaining your respect and admiration .
6. We do not respond to our failures
Many parents, consciously or unconsciously, want to prevent their children from making the same mistakes they made in the past, and even they fear they are rebellious as they were when they were young .
We must overcome our fears and stop extrapolating our fears and longings towards them. Our children are building their own personality and their own way; we must be there to support them and help them .
7. Let's be brave: let's help them be whatever they want to be
Having children is one of the most intense experiences we can have as human beings. Our role as parents is to make them authentic, independent and successful beings , autonomous people who know how to carve their own way to a full and happy life.
Of course, we should not try to make our teenage children copies of ourselves: let's give them the necessary tools to grow and let them choose their own path , both in the academic, work, love ... as in any other aspect.
A few final thoughts
When limits and discipline are established from childhood, an atmosphere of trust and respect is fostered, autonomy and trust are fostered, and the necessary conditions are provided for children to successfully advance to a new stage: adolescence. While it is true that parents are very afraid of the arrival of this vital stage in their children - sometimes more in their parents than in the young people themselves -, the reality is that it usually crosses without major difficulties .
Unfortunately, in many occasions it is during this stage when the adolescent makes evident a series of affective deficiencies that were not given to him in childhood. Due, parents usually use as a smokescreen "adolescence" to avoid reflection or attend to all that we have been letting go. Of course, it is in this area in which the parents "suffer", and therefore it is necessary to have some tools to know how to face the changes.
We hope that these tips are useful for you to enjoy the "awakening to the world" stage. The task is not easy, without a doubt forming human beings is a company only suitable for brave people : it will require constantly reviewing our way of educating and correcting some aspects if necessary. The important thing is that we are still on time, we just have to put good will.