Parenting a teenager entails great responsibility – and it is never easy. As your adolescent goes through physical transformation, his mind changes significantly, too. Bad habits, mood swings, preference modification and rebellion are things that can happen and test your understanding, patience and parenting skills. Nevertheless you must help your child go through adolescence as smoothly as possible (despite its challenges), so below are some smart ways to tackle the teenage problems you might encounter:
Cyber space addiction - Most teenagers today have smartphones and they go online on a daily basis to play games, watch videos and communicate with their friends. There is nothing wrong with these things but teenagers tend to forget their limitations. They are online almost 24/7, sacrificing sleep and physical activities, just to stay updated. Monitor your child’s online activity and set rules on his phone and internet use and implement them strictly. You can keep him from sleep deprivation, cyber bullying and other online predators if you monitor his internet use.
Depression – Depression is one of the worst teenage problems as it can lead to death. It springs from poor self-esteem and distorted body image beliefs. Making your child feel accepted is the first step to keeping him from the claws of depression. Listen to him and comfort him when needed because the validation of his thoughts and feelings can lead to increased self-esteem which reduces the chances of depression.
Juvenile crimes – Most teenagers will try to commit petty crimes if they think they have a good chance of eluding the consequences. They may try everything from assault, to illegal purchases and larceny.
- Assault - Bullying is a form assault. Over confident, yet insecure, kids usually bully and beat up defenseless kids at school.
- Larceny - Larceny involves the stealing of disposable or inexpensive items. Teenagers can sometimes get away with it because the victims don’t make a fuss over the small stuff stolen from them.
- Illegal purchases - Acquisition of alcohol, cigarettes, guns, drugs and other addictive substances fall under illegal purchases. Even though they’re aware of the rules and the possibility of being arrested, some teenagers still go out of their way to get such items. Read this infographic to learn about the best steps to take if ever your teenager gets arrested.
When parents are aware of these problems they can guide their teenagers toward living a more confident and meaningful life. Instead of criticizing or judging your child, make an effort to understand him and build a strong relationship him so he doesn’t have to turn to the negative influence of peers or other destructive things to feel accepted and validated in life.