If we ask any parent what the worst stage of living with their child has been, they will surely tell us that adolescence . If your offspring have not yet entered the ‘turkey age’, you will tell us that it is the one you are most afraid of. These are years of growth, of self-discovery, of beginning to make decisions for young people who seek a certain independence that distances them from their parents.
On paper it seems like a natural, balanced and necessary evolution. It is necessary, but the balanced and natural thing does not always happen. Sometimes kids want to become adults too quickly, sometimes parents have a hard time letting go … so arguments between each other end up being the predominant note of their relationship during the adolescent years.
The adolescence is a new stage in the relationship between parent and child and it is necessary for everyone involved to do their part to make it bearable and avoid the fear of unnecessary conflicts. The situation is also exacerbated when it comes to the eldest child, since living with a teenager at home is something completely new that can affect relationships and the day-to-day life of the whole family.
Not every adolescence is conflictive, but it is much less idyllic, so to try to make it as bearable as possible, it is worth reviewing what a parent is afraid of when facing an adolescent child. In PregDream we have brought you the most common ones.
1. THE DESIRED INDEPENDENCE
When you are a child you grow up with the idea that when you grow up you will be able to do many things, many of them are those that your parents do not want you to do. A teenager is a budding adult so something that defines his character is that search for independence at all costs.
You tend to think that you will achieve it by distancing yourself from your parents, avoiding attending meals or family gatherings, spending as much time as possible with your friends, or isolating yourself in your room . This is often a source of conflict with the rest of the family who do not understand this sudden change or what is the reason why they have to give up their company.
In these cases it is best to leave the adolescent that space that they have been claiming, although also setting a series of limits to maintain family coexistence. In this way, reaching a reasoned agreement with the child, it will also be possible to gain confidence.
A teenager considers himself an adult so in most cases what he looks for is the rest of the elderly and he behaves in a surly way for fear of not getting it . Parents have to find a way to let him know that they respect him, but that as an adult he must also be responsible for his actions.
2. NEGLECTING STUDIES
It is the first fear that parents have when their child enters adolescence, that he will put aside his studies and his academic curriculum suffers . As a result of the changes that the adolescent is experiencing, it may be more difficult for him to focus on the classes, they may find it more boring or he may simply lose interest in his studies.
If, for any of the reasons, parents detect that their child has declined in school performance , they should talk with him and his teachers to find out what the problem is and see how to deal with it. You may need some help or encouragement, or you may be considering dropping out.
In the first two cases you have to see how to give him the help he needs and in the last you have to talk to him to see the reason for that decision. Although parents generally do not want their children to stop studying, there are times when it is the best solution and you have to consider it. The adolescent must be the one who makes the final decision, but it is best if it is with the support of their parents .
3. LOVE AND SEX
Adolescence is nothing more than a hormonal change that hitherto children undergo and that determines the onset of sexual desire in them. Relationships and sex is something that is not usually the topic of regular conversation between parents and their child, which is why he feels that it is something that he should not discuss with them and hide.
However, what is not recommended at all is for a teenager to enter into sex without knowing how to avoid getting a sexually transmitted disease or using contraceptives . If he does not ask out of fear of what his parents may think or because they may scold him or even forbid him to see other people, the parents must take the first step .
Having conversations about relationships and sex with your child will open up to him and earn his trust as well . I have already mentioned trust a couple of times because it is something basic to settle conflicts and, above all, so that they do not occur.
Sex is new to teenagers so it should not be shown to them as something bad, but as something else in the life they are getting to know. An unwanted pregnancy is probably one of the biggest fears of any parent as a teenager. That is why you have to worry about talking about what might happen if you have unprotected sex.
4. ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Adolescence is also the time when young people have their first approach to alcohol, tobacco and other types of drugs . They are in the season of experimentation and any parent who remembers what they did with their child’s age will see that there is probably not that much difference between the two. And therefore there is no reason to be afraid.
Typically, if you start smoking or drinking, you are afraid your parents will find out. That is why it will tend to hide it or do it in secret . Letting him experiment is a good idea, but also knowing how far he goes. It does not hurt to ask him when he has gone out if he has drunk or smoked, although this is something that in the end every parent ends up detecting.
If you have an older brother or a cousin or even a young uncle you can find out more about what he does when he comes out through these people. Being closer in age and not being an authority figure like parents, surely they are more open to them.
Parents may even forbid him to drink alcohol or smoke but this may achieve the opposite effect to the desired one: that he continues to do so and above all as revenge or as a gesture of rebellion. The important thing is to let him know what the limits are and that he should never exceed them , as well as that he can go to his parents in case of having a problem.
For example, it has happened to every adolescent that one day he drinks too much or that his friend does and finds himself in a situation where he does not know what to do or where to turn. Parents must let him know that if something like this happens they can call them to help them and solve it in the best possible way.
5. REBELLION AND VIOLENCE
Independence is what every teenager yearns for. And mark the differences with when I was a child. They do not always know how to do it and sometimes a rebellion that can lead to violence ends up blossoming.
If the rebellion is peaceful and does not get him into trouble, his parents should not be afraid either. Things change when violence, the frequency of bad company, and perhaps a small-scale approach to the criminal world come into play.
It is a fear that every parent has, that their child is going astray, but in reality it happens much less often than you think. It is not such a real possibility . And when it happens it is usually determined by the environment in which the adolescent is.
And despite all the fears that parents may have when their child becomes an adolescent, they must look further and be aware that adolescence is a phase that lasts for a few years, but that once their little one is over, they will have become an adult with whom you will no longer have to deal with these problems.