Supporting Teenagers

Being a teenager is difficult, being a parent of a teenager is worrying.

You are concerned about their well being.

When they are young you can put them to bed at 8 pm , No mobile phones, they are generally compliant. Then they grow up to become opinionated, knowing best.

You notice they become secretive and you expect the worst, you might be right but you shouldn’t make assumptions.

They come home from school, walk in, you force a conversation out of them to see how the day was, sometimes you might be told ‘it was alright’.

They get to an age, where they don’t really want to interact with you anymore. Every child is different regardless whether you have raised them the same. Their personalities are different, the friends they meet and the interest they have or if they have a need (disability).

You tell them it’s bedtime or come in at a certain time, they reply ‘ my mates stay out later than that’. They might go up to bed but there on the phone or console, You get frustrated, I’m the adult, this is my house, these are my rules, I don’t want them to get in trouble, I don’t want to look like a neglectful parent, whether you say it or think it.

I spoke to some teenagers asking how they find school, some said that others have it easy, it's an easy life, their parents buying them everything they want. It is rubbish you go to school because you listen to teachers moaning all day to then go home to be moaned at, more demands put on you.

Some teenagers found It's easy to get along with people, they felt others would talk about you to others to fit in, they're not there for you. People would try to change you to fit in, I hated it, Just walked around with them but didn't say much.

I realised boys found it difficult, just as much as girls, they have hormones going crazy inside, for boys it was difficult, they couldn’t talk about their feelings, people would make fun of it, Boys get tired especially if the body changes are happening fast. We are educated about girls and their changes, yet we still struggle to accept and understand them, girls are being emotional, how are people to understand boys.

Coaching teenagers through the years is difficult, to keep a calm house is to make them feel safe, listened too.

When they tell you something don’t get angry or take your emotions out on them. Try and remain calm, if you need time to think about what they said, tell them, try and empathise.

Let them tell you their worries or regrets otherwise who do they turn to.

I’ve been a parent who shouts, it got me nowhere, they would argue back, storm off, or sneak out and they end up doing what they want, with guilt and worry.

I've tried ignoring the behaviour, then they did what they wanted with no understanding, repeating the same mistake over again, they had no boundaries, invited people round without knowing anything about them, went to bed at any time, went out and didn't come back until early hours. I even saw them sit at the computer and completely forget about their own personal hygiene.

Getting on track is hard, know your limits, you have to fight for them, you give a little with some guidance. Let them go out, come to an agreement of respectful time, limit hours on the computer but rather than impose this rule immediately, discuss it with them, they want to be valued, help them take responsibility with your support so they feel in control.

Build an understanding relationship, apologise if you handle something wrong, create trust and try and remember you were young once. Guide them rather than dictate, allow them to make mistakes and support them regardless of the outcome.

It is hard being a parent, you never stop worrying, building a friendship with your child may make life a little more peaceful.