Tackling teens-2[For Teens]

Teenage years are a roller coaster ride for both, the parents and daughters. If both manage to handle it well, it could cement a deep loving bond for life

teen upset with her parentsFrom being pamperers to suddenly becoming Hitlers—for teenage daughters, it’s the parents who are changing and not them. They are more confused about the unexpected transformation in their parents than about the changes in their bodies. Things will not seem so difficult if they understand why parents do what they do.

The difficult bridge

Teenagers are at an important juncture in life. Teenage years are the bridge that links your childhood to your adult life. Standing on the bridge, you might find that either side is different, confusing, or simple, joyful and tranquil. The insights and perceptions that you carry are like baggage to the other side. At this juncture it is important that you clear the past unwanted baggage before stepping on to the other side. For this it is extremely important to see what is in your bag—how is it useful and what are the other choices. The choices that you make now will affect your adult life. And parents are the people who will help you make the right choices.

Family relationships

A healthy relationship is one in which you can openly express anything without the fear of being judged. This means that your relationship with your mom and dad goes beyond just narrating daily happenings to them. There are intimate moments of laughter and closeness, talking about anything and even nothing, but just being together.

Does this seem like an ideal relationship? Actually not, if: ?

  • you lock yourself in your room talking to peers for hours
  • you are a rebel opposing everything they say
  • you are too timid, and feel unable to express at home or to friends
  • you are always thinking that people find you weird
  • you are confused about your body and feel you have no control over it

If you are thinking too much, you are carrying a lot of past emotional baggage. Get rid of it to understand the effects of your behaviour and what your parents are trying to say.

Body basics

At this sensitive point in your life, your parents are a good and a safe source of information. They may be uncomfortable talking about your bodily changes but your genuine query and complete faith in them will make them comfortable and help them express. If your parents are open to discussion, make the most of it.

As your body undergoes physical growth and hormonal changes, the attributes of a woman begin to show in your physique and mind. This might make you feel vulnerable during your periods where you might want to seek the warmth of your parents. As a child, you can demand it from them, but if they are not open to demonstrative behaviour, then talk about it. It is a guarantee that they will understand.

Friends and going out

You might feel that your parents are over-protective about deadlines, phone calls, clothing, expectations at home, etc. Understand that the intention of your parent is never wrong.Your mom and dad restrict you to stay out late at night because they are scared for your safety. At this point, winning the trust of your parents is extremely important. You can do it easily by sharing phone numbers of your friends and at the same time keeping your mom involved in your day to-day happenings. This would ensure her feeling safe about sending you anywhere. You also need to keep your word. This allows for greater trust in the relationship.

As a teenage daughter, clarify your expectations from a task or routine in a loving manner with your parents. This helps resolve many common misunderstandings that occur in families. Clarification allows you to express and understand their perspective with a clear mind. If your approach for dialogue is good, your parents will respond in a way that you understand. If not, then elucidate again.

The most powerful tool is the love and trust you share with your parents. And only feedback can help strengthen it. It’ll help make your entry onto the other side of the bridge smooth.

How should parents handle their role in their teenage daughter’s life?

Shantu Thakurta
Shantu Thakurta is a practising clinical hypnotherapist specialising in children, family an relationship issues. She lives in Bangalore.