At some point, your child will eventually reach the adolescent stage. This does not in any way bring your parenting duty to a stop. However, it may call for a different kind of parenting.
This is because adolescence comes with a lot of changes in your child. Such changes could be physical, mental, and even social. Your child will begin to nurture their individuality per society’s expectations.
Hence, raising a teenager is an important issue that parents must understand and learn to cope with.
The Changes that come with Adolescence
The adolescence stage begins at the ages of 11-13 and ends at the age of 17-19.
As earlier mentioned, adolescence comes with some notable changes. These changes are usually in three forms: physical, mental, and social changes.
These kinds of changes are usually the most notable ones. Upon reaching adolescence, your child’s body will begin to change. They get taller, and the girls may become curvier around the waist. There’s also the growth of hair on the genitals and body. Your child may begin to have sexual urges during this period, and girls will begin their menstruation.
This mostly comes in the form of mood swings. Your child may become very irritable, easily stressed, and extremely anxious. This is because of the constant hormonal changes and imbalance occurring during this period. Due to this mental change, many children turn to things for relief. One of such things is sex, as they tend to become sexually active.
At this stage, your child will start to have concerns about being accepted by their peers. They want to form a clique with their closest friends where they can be themselves. These friends are usually people they share interests with.
Your child will spend more time with friends and develop an interest in the opposite sex.
Social media contributes heavily to your child’s growth at this stage. they begin to spend lots of time on social apps.
As your child grows into an adolescent, you must adjust your parenting technique to fit their new status. You should be around the corner for every change your child experiences, providing explanations and help when needed.
Providing love and warmth to your child is vital as children at this age are prone to mental stress and mood swings. The family should be your child’s peace after an exhausting day in school or with friends.
You need to channel your positive parenting skills when dealing with a teenager. Teenagers may be a handful to deal with, but you must not resort to violence or emotional abuse to build discipline. Instead, show understanding of the situation, provide a listening ear and help them with useful information regarding the adolescent stage and things they may be feeling.
You should also help your child sharpen their social skills. Teach them social discipline, problem-solving skills, and how to analyze situations. This helps them navigate their feelings and address their needs appropriately.
The adolescent stage is not always easy to deal with. Due to the rapid change and mental stress, many teenagers tend to do things wrongly while searching for temporary relief.
Here are a few problems associated with Adolescence and how to tackle them as a parent.
1. Physical problems
The major physical problem is terrible hygiene. Adolescence comes with a lot of physical changes. These changes call for proper maintenance and a high level of cleanliness.
You should teach your child to maintain good hygiene, so they don’t develop diseases or body odor.
Children with poor hygiene or appearance tend to be victims of bullying and ridicule in school. No parent wants that for their children.
2. Presence of a Defiant attitude
Many teenagers think it is cool to disrespect parents and people of authority. The reason is that they believe they have become adults in their own right and should not be subject to anything.
Due to social pressure, they only hang out with friends and blindly follow what is agreed among each other.
As parents, you should ensure that your authority is never disobeyed. Instill discipline and closely supervise what your child is involved in.
If you notice any violent behavior, immediately call it order and prevent them from going defiant.
3. Teenage love
While teenage love is not bad, it could pose a problem sometimes. One of the major problems it could lead to is teenage pregnancy.
Adolescence comes with opposite-sex attraction. These teenagers then begin to have sex, most times with limited knowledge of safe sex, and then impregnate the females.
Also, they could spread sexually transmitted diseases or infections during intercourse.
As parents, you should endeavor to educate your teenage child on safe sex. Teach them that it is better to wait until their ready and not just jump into having sex because others are.
4. Drug Abuse
Teenagers are always eager to try new things. This is especially when it is something others are doing. This eagerness often leads them to do drugs or smoke, which eventually turns to addiction.
As parents, you should observe your child and their social circle. Make sure to properly educate them on the dangers of drug abuse.