Becoming a parent is no walk in the park for anyone and fair enough, there are no exemptions. By the time a child is old enough to differentiate between good and bad, the parent has surely gone through it all. The sudden midnight fever scares, infant temper outbursts, and the 4 a.m. feeding sessions are just a few of the experiences that define a parent.
However, against all the odds, it is during the child’s teen years that most parents become more worried and distressed about their child’s behavior. So, why do teenagers at their puberty conflict with their parents and what should parents do to deal with their kids during their teen years?
Teens in their puberty
Acknowledge the changes they are undergoing
Rightly so, most parents are in more distress about their kids when they hit the puberty mark. Understandably, it is during this period that the teenagers undergo intense developments intellectually, physically and also emotionally. The sudden changes in their bodies tend to impact not only them but also those around them, especially their parents. For this reason, puberty is often a period of conflict between teens and their parents. However, contrary to most people’s perceptions about teens, during this period they tend to be quite idealistic, thoughtful and full of energy. There is no better time for a parent to nurture their kids to grow into the distinctive individuals they will soon become. Nonetheless, to be able to help your child during the teen years, it is important for you to understand how to deal with teens in their puberty.
Understand teen years and puberty
It is important to understand that different teens hit their puberty differently from their peers. Therefore, as a parent or guardian, it is important to differentiate between puberty and what is seen as normal development. Whereas some teens may start to bloom early, others may experience the changes later on, whereas others experience a slow- but steady development. Therefore, puberty is not only characterized by the growth or development of sexual attributes such as breasts, pubic hair, menses or facial hair but also other unseen changes as well. Some kids may develop physically before they are even ten years old, as such, these kids may be going through adolescent changes which cannot be seen from the outside.
Give them space
During adolescence, most kids change how they behave around their parents and tend to act more independently. At the same moment, they are trying to fit in among their peers. This is often the main cause of conflict with parents and distress episodes. At this stage, it can be quite uncomfortable to discuss puberty and sex with your child considering he or she is distancing himself or herself further from you. However, the more you speak to them about this topic, the more it becomes easier for both of you.
This way, you can encourage positive behavior and your child can freely ask you about the changes happening to them, which in turn makes it easier for them make it through puberty unscathed. If you are unable to speak to your child, or if he or she is not ready or comfortable speaking to you, you can ask another adult to speak to them on your behalf.
During puberty, teens are continuously seeking and practicing independence. Sudden changes in their bodies make them more wary about their identities and differences between them and their peers. Therefore, parents should try to understand the changes their kids are going through and help them achieve the independence they desire in a positive manner. To help them better, give them room to be by themselves, listen to them and make their opinions count even if they differ from yours.