It is said that teen rebellion is a normal part of a teenager’s development into adulthood. When teenagers begin to expand their individuality and shape their own identity, teens embark on a journey of experimentation. A mixture of behaviors, attitudes, character traits and hormones emerge which supersedes the child we knew. A transformation occurs in phases and in a myriad of degrees. Both emotion and debate arise and the wonders about the origin of teen rebellion and questions begin to stir wondering is it in fact a necessary and vital stage for a teen’s ascent into adulthood or is it redundant and possibly preventable ?
Asking ourselves this question can seem silly but that is the question and always inevitable. William Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be” comes to mind, is it nobler to endure or to prevent? As parents sometimes we just want to prevent teen rebellion in our own homes altogether. Elimination of it, now that would be a grand exploit, but seriously though, preparedness and awareness for this stage of development can be very beneficial and allow for some level of sustain and responsiveness between us and our teens. As parents in an effort to prepare and get through this stage with some sanity we can implement a few fundamentals, such as:
- Understanding of the developmental components that shape and change our children, such as hormones and social dynamics.
- Communication, which is essential and creating opportunities to engage in conversation with them expresses an interest in who they are, what they like and so forth. Talking with our teens and listening to them is vital.
- Being concerned and involved in our teen’s lives, from academics to activities, who are their friends, being in touch with teachers, coaches or school representatives, knowing where they spend their time outside of school, as well as advocate for them when necessary.
- Awareness of the varied pressures put on and around teens at school, in social circle and society can make life hard at this time of development. By being aware of the reality of pressures out there and then educating our teens on things such as sex, relationships, drugs, authority, emotions and the like, is equipping them with the knowledge, tools and support that are indispensable to make decisions .
With many supportive and useful fundamental principles and tasks that are available for both parents and teens; frankly understanding, communication, concern and awareness of and for our teens will not only help them survive their teen years, but will also allow for parents to survive them as well.