Understanding teen psychology and teen behavior

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It is essential for parents to understand teen psychology and teen behavior in order to have good relationship with their teenage children.

Along with physical changes physiological and psychological changes bring about total transformation of a child into an adult male or female and constitute a very important dimension of teen health. They become quite conscious of their physical fitness and appearance.

One of the major reasons for conflict is the adolescent‘s desire to assert himself and lead an independent life.

Many parents fail to understand teen psychology and expect meek submission to their authority. While adolescents are immature and need parental guidance, they do not like to be treated as kids. Males tend to be a little more aggressive compared to females though there are exceptions.

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The desire to assert his/her own identity manifests in many ways. Coming late at night is a usual problem which adds to parental anxiety though with the availability of mobile phones it has become easy to keep is touch. Consumption of alcoholic drinks is becoming increasingly common and is often responsible for some teen health problems and accidents.

They tend to drive very fast increasing the risk of accidents. Many parents are naturally worried about the extracurricular activities of adolescent children, especially females. A closely knit family can protect adolescents from undesirable influence.

Eating together, going out together regularly, listening to the adolescents’ interests and willingness to help them become what they want help in maintaining a stable and enjoyable relationship. When adolescents are convinced that their parents are really well-wishers, they tend to obey them. It is also important for the parents have good understanding between themselves.

Another trait of adolescents which irritates parents is their inclination to listen to their peers but ignore the views of parents. Parents should handle this diplomatically by convincing their children that people learn many lessons from life as they grow older and that younger generation should benefit from them.

Some teenagers like to take up some part time jobs and earn money so that they need not depend on their parents for everything. There are parents who do not like the idea as they think this interferes with the studies. Some affluent people also feel it is below their dignity to allow their children to work for money before completing the studies.

It is better to be a little flexible in this regard. Today there are many opportunities for working at home and making money legally and morally. Teenagers can make money online from home if they devote a few hours every week without interfering with their studies. This will enhance their self-esteem.

Psychological disturbances like anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies are common teen health problems. A major cause of mortality among adolescents is suicide. The usual causes are failed love affairs, poor grades in examinations and any event which erodes the self-esteem.

Parents often exert enormous pressure on their children to achieve more, pushing them beyond the limits of endurance. Drug addiction and cigarette smoking are other common problems.

Alcoholism in teenagers is becoming more common and this also contributes to traffic accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol. Many of these problems can be prevented if parents spend more time with their children and try to understand them.

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Many affluent parents think that giving lot of money to their children is enough. Often they have no idea whatsoever of where their children are going and what they are doing as both of them will be very busy with their own business.

Some parents simply assume that their children are mature and can take care of themselves and simply give them whatever they ask for.

Such parents get a rude shock when their children are caught for a serious crime like murder, rape or for causing death of other people by their reckless driving. Whatever time they had saved by not spending time with their children will be lost in running after advocates and courts and by facing inquiries.

To what extent are parents responsible for the acts of omissions and commissions of their children? This question is not easy to answer. We occasionally see children born to virtuous parents going astray.

But parents should do their utmost to see that children lead lives of honesty and integrity by setting an example and by driving home the cosmic law of cause and effect. Giving sufficient attention to spiritual development during childhood is also important.

Perhaps they should prepare themselves for the task of parenting before the birth of a child and this includes understanding a bit of child and teen psychology. Sometimes I do feel that the treatment of a child should begin before the marriage of the prospective parents. We all should remember that we are responsible for the state of the society we live in.

During late adolescence parents need to help their children in choosing their career. Some parents try to force their ideas on their children leading to conflicts. Parents need to control their desire to achieve their unfulfilled dreams through children.

To sum up parents should anticipate the turmoil faced by adolescents and be mentally prepared for it. The urge of an adolescent to lead an independent life and assert himself should be recognized and respected within reasonable limits.

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Page last reviewed on 5th November 2009

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