Navigating the world as hard as it is, but when you happen to be a teenager things become just a teeny bit harder. And by teeny bit harder, I mean insanely hard. Parents don’t always understand the challenges a teenager has to face in this age because it is hard to decode what they are actually going through. This is a very critical time for the teens as they are going through so many changes and don’t really understand what is going on with them. As parents, you may not understand the challenges teenagers face but you can surely try and support them. But what are the parents supposed to do if they don’t even know what is going on with their children? Here are 8 challenges teenagers face that you should definitely know.
1. The power games
Teenagers are not exactly children but also they aren’t adults right now, well not exactly. They start to become adults here. And no adult in their right minds is going to want to take orders from another adult about their life. So, you making rules about their life isn’t going to work anymore. Good luck trying to get a teenager to follow your rules. They are not kids anymore. They are grown-ups (well almost) and would very much appreciate it if they were treated as one. It becomes very hard for them when they have to play the ‘who has the most power’ game. This is one of the challenges that teenagers have to face nowadays that take up most of their time and effort.
Instead what they would really appreciate if you treated them like adults. If you want there to be some ground rules don’t make them on your own. Make these rules with them. They will feel more obligated to follow the rules if they made them in the first place.
2. Hormonal Changes
You can’t stress enough how much this affects teenagers. The body and they seem to be different people at this age. And the body never seems to agree with you about anything you want to feel. For instance, you see a sad scene at which you normally wouldn’t cry but because hormones do what they want, you end up crying a river. Or you were happy a second ago but since someone did a mildly irritating thing, your hormones who were having a party a second ago because you were happy are now enraged. And so on and so forth.
Being a teenager is hard and especially when you don’t understand why you are acting this way. Not being in control of what you may feel the next second is daunting and they have to learn to live with it.
3. Everything is changing
Teenage doesn’t just mean that your hormones do whatever they want, it means that your body will also do whatever it wants. One day you are 12 and everything is fine, the next day you are 13 and you suddenly realize that your body is changing. Boy does that give you a shock! Imagine one day you just realize that you are bleeding, just like that or that there is hair growing in parts where you never knew it would grow.
When you don’t have the ‘talk’ with them it makes them very scared. And without proper knowledge, you are just traveling in unknown waters. Getting improper knowledge is more dangerous than having no knowledge, but guess what happens when parents are too uncomfortable to talk about certain things. Children learn anyway, mostly wrong things and complicate their lives even more than they already are.
4. The attraction
Yes, this needs to be acknowledged. This is the time in life where everything is about liking someone. The entire period of these some 7-8 years is governed majorly by this factor. For teenagers, this is something they have never felt in their entire life of 12 years before this. And suddenly, this feeling of attraction hits you out of nowhere. But you as parents don’t have to make a big deal out of it. It is very common, you also went through this (don’t deny)
This feeling is very dangerous as it is if not handled with care, you don’t have to make it a difficult topic to talk about at home too.
5. Peer pressure
The pressure to try and fit in is one of the toughest challenges teenagers have to face everyday. Peer pressure is at its best with teenagers. It hits you when you are the most vulnerable so that you feel the full magnitude of it. When you are a teenager, you desperately want to fit in. You so badly want to be in the cool gang. You think, your image in school is all that is going to matter the most your entire lifetime. So, to fit in you do what others do to look cool, to fit in, to become popular.
It is manageable when it is about a bag or a cool water bottle. But the real problem starts when you have to do things that you are not comfortable with but all the cool people are doing it. This is the time when they need to be the strongest and have the strongest will power their entire life. This becomes one of the things that makes teenage a not so favorite age to live in.
6. The rebellious phase
Most of the time, a teenager becomes rebellious not because their age demands it. When as children they are not given what they want and are always forbidden from things they want to do, they use their power as teens to get what they could never get in your reign and some more. As a 12-year-old if they weren’t allowed to go to a friend’s place or movies, guess who is being a rebel and sneaking out of the house to have the time of their life. If their bedtime was strict, they are staying up all night doing nothing just for the heck of it.
Being rebellious for teenagers is not about the thing they rebel about. For them, they are escaping rules that they had as kids to become adults.
7. “Concentrate on your studies”, said the parents constantly
This is the time when children, my mistake, the new adults need to figure out their life. But, this is the time your parents want you to concentrate on your studies. So much so that you constantly only hear them say ‘focus on your studies’, ‘focus on your career’. Now, it is not like they don’t want to study and make a career, but you just can’t focus. Not being able to focus can be a result of many things. First, they need to figure out their other stuff before they can study. And that is a sure way to get the parents even angrier and again the teenagers have to face the brunt of it. Back off already.
8. They are not babies anymore
‘I am not a kid anymore!’ How many times as a parent have you heard this? Enough times to lose count I daresay. And every time your children say this, it breaks your heart a little bit more. But it is true. They are not kids anymore and they will not respond properly if treated as kids. When everything else in the world is bent on pushing them into adult life, their parents still treating them as kids are going to mess with them.
Unsure as they are already about life and everything else, this treatment as kids just upset them and makes this teenage thing a little harder than it already was.