A Lateral View on Teenagers

Adolescence is arguably one of the most feared phenomenon by parents, and one of the most looked forward to by children. Hormones, tantrums, rebellion, fears of relationships, drugs, alcohol etc. haunt the minds of parents, but how many of these are reasonable and to be expected?

The most widespread fear of parents by far is hormones. Although teenagers do have mood swings due to hormones, most of them are capable of dealing with them themselves, without much help. Some teenagers, if the triggers are right, may start overreacting and get panic attacks, but that is rare. As for tantrums and fear of rebellion, those are rare and are usually caused by external sources outside of home, and can be avoided by making sure they go to a decent school etc. Rebellion could also be caused due to mistreatment at homes. What most parents don’t realize is that disciplining methods used on their children won’t always work when they are teenagers, as teenagers start adopting the culture of the shows they watch, friends they have etc. And don’t like being forced into cultures their parents follow. Parents must be sympathetic towards their teenage children, and must understand that change is not always bad. The fascination of wanting to try something new draws some teenagers towards the mysteries of alcohol and (even less) towards drugs. Note that this also varies from culture to culture.

The behaviour of teenagers depends mainly on the media they watch, their peers and their parents. Movies and Television affect teens and children in various ways, such as teens adopting the culture of the television they watch. You’ll notice most teens nowadays share some of their behaviour with characters out of TV shows, even if it is oh-so-subtle. Again, parents should be open to change and instead of acting at the first sign of change, should monitor the teen and make sure that the teen is not changing for the worse. Parents are heavily programmed, and are often against teens radical thoughts and ideas. Teenagers can feel oppressed due to this. And the most important thing to remember is: be a good parent. Give them some freedom. Don’t reprimand them for every small mistake, as they are old enough to distinguish between mistakes and willful intent and don’t need it to be pointed out. Be happy and set a good example and chances are nothing negative will happen.

So, are teens really as bad as they are made out to be in popular media, or are they just misunderstood?

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