The teenage years are truly the most challenging phase for a parent. However, it’s rougher on the teenager. Because we will always see things from a parent’s perspective or as an educator. But in reality, it’s the teenager who’s truly at the cross-roads of life
A Role Model
Teenagers are usually unaware of what they would like to do in the future. So they have to be introduced to inspiring people. People who have worked hard and achieved their dreams. Those that made their dreams a reality.
Short -Term Goals
When they are in a rebellious mindset, try setting short term goals. So those things which they can easily achieve. That way, they will willingly work faster towards those achievable goals and grow confident in their achievements. Smaller wins lead to bigger wins, and well, you get the idea.
Long -Term Goals
It has to be of their interest. Read that again. Work with them to identify their interests. And then help them to carve an achievable path. Be with them every step you can to help take them through it.
Teenagers are usually in a day-dreaming mode. And their interests might change weekly, monthly sometimes on a day to day basis. So subtly portray the reality to him or her.
This is a golden rule. When a teenager is in a defiant frame of mind, try not to argue. And give them space for sometime. Even if your blood is boiling, just take the cool stance. It’s my personal experience, with my students and my daughter, that I choose to ignore the defiance. And later on, when they are in an amiable mood, speak to them.
This is what is usually lacking. Because as adults, and parental figures, we have a tendency to get into an authoritative stance, without realizing that is doing more damage than helping.
Personally, I had my own experience with a student. Back when I had just joined the school. This student was not popular with anyone in school. The reason being was his previous behavior, which happened before I had joined. So I slowly started speaking to him. Initially he was defensive with me too. But I would always smile at him. I was also stubborn, and I didn’t give up.
My constant interactions with him built a bond between us. Without either of us realizing. He would come to me in between classes. And he would share his thoughts. He had never celebrated his birthday in school at all. And with me, he agreed too. And he started to participate in school activities.
He had evolved. And I hadn’t really done a thing. I just made him feel heard, respected, valued and appreciated. All by listening.
This is a dire need, which we tend to overlook. Teenagers need to feel valued and they expect respect .
Nurture them with love
With teenagers, when you are loving and kind, you can win many battles. Because I am a strict teacher, when I have to be. But I know when to have fun with them. And be just like them.
For a teenager to connect with you, It is important that you are their friend, counselor, sounding board, and a teacher at times.
A word of advice