Puberty – How Can I Handle my Child?
Most parents have a tough time understanding the changes in their teens behavior, especially in the pubescent years. It has always been like that, adults just don’t understand pubescent teens. But previously, puberty was only about pimples and heartache while nowadays online friendships and “gangsta rap” estrange the generation from today and the previous one.
Is this Really my Little Girl?
Many parents see especially in their daughter still the cute little girl running around in the red summer dress or sitting on daddy’s lap. 10 years later, when the same daughter wears skinny jeans, has piercings, colored hair and is sitting on her boyfriend’s lap instead of her dad’s, most of the parents are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.
Parents can have definitely tough times when their children become adults with fashion sins, alcohol consumptions, temper tantrums, slamming doors and so on. Someone who has teenage daughter or son won’t get a lot of rest but no wonder, because the young persons want to start living their own life and develop their own identity.
Do the Parents have it Harder Nowadays?
Actually yes, because developmental psychologists have found that the start of the difficult age has moved five years forward compared to 150 years ago. This is mainly due to better nutrition, then the fat content plays a big role in the physical development of teenagers. Therefore, overweight girls get their first period earlier than slim ones. On the other hand, separation occurs from the parents also later, so that the whole teenager phase lasts longer.
But what Starts the Adolescence?
A neurotransmitter (Neurokinin B) triggers the development of the body. This transmitter ensures that a number of hormones get released which trigger the development towards maturity. These sex hormones are released from the pituitary gland. They act on the testicles or ovaries and promote the growth and maturation. This sets the woman’s menstrual cycle in motion and triggers the formation of the male sperm and testosterone.
Why does He get Tattoos? Why does She want a Piercing?
Most of the parents see the wish of their offspring to get a tattoo probably as an adolescent nonsense but experts call it body modification. Teenagers want to show with tattoos and piercings that this is their own body and that they can do what they want with it. Psychologists see it as an expression of rebellion which helps them to establish their identity.
A strict ban by the parents won’t help. It is better to ask for reasons when one of the children shows an interest in doing such a thing. Try to understand the reasons and not to talk totally aversely. Take the role as an adviser and you will see that you will reach much more than with strict prohibitions.
But How do I Talk with my Child?
It is important that you do not lose the contact with your daughter or your son, even though it is sometimes difficult to understand what she or he is doing. And when you think back to the time when the child peed on the new sofa because it wasn’t totally potty trained, when it wanted to watch the same TV show with you every evening, or when you fell over the toys in the living room the hundredth time, you realize that you went already through a lot of difficult times with your offspring.
And even though your teenager may not accept advice from you, it doesn’t mean your child doesn’t need you. Then especially in the puberty, it is important to have the support of the parents as a listener, counselor and educator.
The following tips will help you to meet the requirements easier:
- It is important to set the rules from the beginning to avoid conflicts. So set the curfew before your daughter comes home at 5 a.m. in the morning and has no idea about the consequences for example. She needs to know the time to be home and the punishment when she doesn’t know before she does it.
- Another important point is to make the teenager clear why you set the rules since this is exactly sometimes difficult to understand for persons who want to be as much independent as possible.
- It can also be helpful when a whole friendship circle has to follow similar rules. Then who wants to go home at 11 p.m. when the friends can stay until 1 a.m.? So talk with the parents of your child’s friends about the rules you want to set to make it easier for everybody.
- Showing interest in children’s activities will help. When you have no idea anymore what your son is doing, you will have definitely tough times to change his behavior. So, even though you may not be interested in the computer games or the favorite music bands of your son, show interest. That’s how you will always know what your offspring is doing and more importantly, is planning to do.
- It won’t help a lot when you try to talk to your teenager after a hard school day or a lost baseball game. To have conversations with your kid about different topics is indispensable, but please choose the right moment. Experts say that the time before falling asleep is the best time since teenagers have a certain distance to their everyday problems before going to sleep. Use this time to talk about all kind of problems, but take up only the function as a counselor or listener to avoid blockades.
- Finally, probably the most important point during the phase of puberty is to do things together. Let your kids become independent and do things on their own, but it is on the other hand also important to spend time with each other as a family. Set the rule to eat dinner together or to do certain activities every Sunday. And involve your offspring in making the decisions which activities you want to do, to make him feel independent and equal. This will make it easier to convince your teenager for certain trips.