The family with teenage children
When the children reach adolescence, the family must adapt to this new situation. In this new stage of the life cycle, children leave behind childhood and preadolescence, to live a new stage of growth and formation where parents must expose themselves to new challenges and learn to treat their children. teenage children
The new identity of adolescent children
During the transition from child to adult, the adolescent goes through an important critical process that is the formation of his identity. At this stage the question arises in them: who am I? And to answer this important question is the assessment of self-concept, that is, the image they have of themselves, as well as the perception that others have of them and, in the latter case, parents play a very important role.
Among the main challenges that parents must face when their children reach adolescence are:
1. The treatment they give their children. Although it is difficult, it is convenient to avoid confusing them by treating them at times as small children and at other times as adults. It is important to recognize that our child is no longer the child who was told things and obeyed them without asking questions, now he is more aware of his emotions, thoughts and feelings, and a critical sense emerges.
2. Dispel the idea that adolescents are a problem. For this, it is convenient to educate adolescents in the responsibility so that they themselves are aware of their own actions. In this stage of life, the young person faces many changes, not only physical, but also emotional that will affect the relationships with their parents and siblings. The bond with the parents is not and will not be the same.
What to do when children reach adolescence
The tasks that are presented at this stage for parents with teenage children are:
1. Make the limits more flexible: try to see the adolescent as someone who is in the process of change, development and that comes from another stage of previous life (childhood). The limits that were established in childhood must change and adapt to the new changes of the adolescent. For example, in study schedules or outings with friends.
2. Understand: that you are not an adult, but an adolescent with many changes in process, who seeks independence, and in this process can be exposed to negative friendships and some vices such as alcohol, snuff, sexuality ... before which must have resources of performance.
3. Favor the process of adaptation to age-appropriate changes, doing everything possible to put on the shoes of their teenagers and see what they see. It is advisable to find moments to share with them, listen to them, value their actions and recognize all the good things they do.
4. Respect your ideas, opinions and initiatives: if as parents we try to impose our ideas and opinions, without explanations or negotiations, the consequence may be that the adolescent moves away from the family.
5. Negotiate the rules: During childhood, parents set the rules and decided. But with teenagers it should not be the same. If adolescents help define the new rules and limits, for them it will be easier to respect them and assume the consequences of not fulfilling them.
Jeymi Febles. Clinical Psychologist, Family and Couple Therapist.