NEED OF PARENTING TODAY'S ADOLESCENTS
The primary aim is
preventive in nature. Parenting your adolescent
daughter will help her to emerge from the turbulent
teenage years without incurring any lasting damage.
Our society is changing in its very social structure.
There are changes in life styles, behaviour patterns,
manner of thinking, which affect not only the
adults but also impact the adolescent mind - a
period of life in which patterns are set with
Young people are highly sensitive to the influences
in their cultures for good and bad. Families and
schools especially, have important roles to play
in the complete development of the adolescents.
They need adult models of healthy behavior sensitive
to their special requirements. Young people are
willing to channelize their energy to positive
goals provided they are given a chance. It is
up to the adults in the society, and specifically
to you as a parent, to allow them to do so by
providing the right environment and guidance.
positive mental health
is a shift towards nuclear families, resulting
in an absence of emotional roots, commonly
seen in joint families, where there was always
someone (grandparents, aunts or uncles) to
shower love and affection, or a shoulder to
cry on. Parents of nuclear families because
of work pressure and social obligations, often
end up neglecting the needs of their children
which has a bad impact on them, giving rise
to a lot of mental health problems like neuroses,
psychosis, psychosomatic illness and character
disorders. Parenting will help get a better
insight into your child's psyche, which will
improve your relationship with her and this
will consequently equip her to deal with the
difficult times of the adolescent period.
keep up with the new trends of education
is a high level of competition in the world
of academics and careers, which can be an
emotional assault course for all concerned,
both parents and children. Parental support
and guidance will help to override this period
There is an additional stress placed on the
adolescent by the education system. The basic
cause of anxiety is the fear of performance.
Parental support and guidance during these
times by nurturing confidence in them, avoiding
any type of comparisons with others, and allaying
their fears will take them a long way. Often
a number of anxieties take them to the brink
of hopelessness and helplessness and in extreme
cases end in suicide attempts. At such a stage,
you will be a pillar of strength and support
avoid neglect and loneliness
our fast paced and increasingly stressful
lifestyles, parents often find it hard to
give time to their children. Though they want
to spend quality time with their children,
personal and professional demands of parents
cause children to be often left unguided,
causing a lot of problems like lazy habits,
lack of interest in studies, over dependence
on television and Internet to pass their time.
This often leads to the child feeling neglected
and consequently developing a host of behaviour
Vinita, 13 years old, has to return to a lonely
home when she returns tired from school in
the late afternoon as both her parents are
away at work. She has a house key on a cord
around the neck. She has to take care of herself.
If her mum has had time, lunch will be on
the table but often she makes do with bread
She feels quarrelsome and angry and thinks
of ways of getting even with her folks. She
tends to be uncooperative around the house,
instead talking on the phone or watching T.V.
when chores have to be done. According to
Vinita - “It serves them right”.
But in some cases, children start indulging
in anti-social behaviour, drugs, alcohol and
sex. This is because they are lonely and starved
for social interaction.
Sneha is 17 and both her parents go to work,
so she had her friends come over with their
boyfriends and would eat, drink and watch
adult movies. One thing led to another and
she started indulging in drugs and sex, which
her mother accidentally discovered when she
returned home early one day. The picture is
a frightening one, which could have been avoided
if the parents displayed greater sensitivity.
In similar situations, which are increasingly
the norm, mothers especially can play a critical
role in averting disastrous consequences in
their daughter’s lives. If a certain
plan or situation at home is going to impact
your child, she has a right to be informed
about it, especially once she is able to appreciate
what is happening around her. Your 8 or 9
year old can be involved in the decision making
process. You can discuss things with her,
listen to her concerns, views and suggestions
and as honestly as possible explain to her
why things in their home are the way they
are. She must be helped to appreciate what
she can and cannot do, especially the safety
measures she has to comply with. While she
has to be on her own for part of the time,
make time for her when you are back home.
Appreciate her efforts at being so responsible
which will make her feel good, and keep her
from indulging in irresponsible or harmful
pursuits. There will be many such demanding
situations that will cause you to realize
that parenting is no bed of roses, especially
during these vulnerable years of your child.
However, the corresponding pleasures, of watching
your daughter metamorphosing into a young
woman are incomparable.