Have you ever noticed how parents of toddlers tend to count the years left until their kids become teens? Most new parents find it difficult to deal with crying and tantrums and believe that when their child becomes a teenager their problems will end. However, the problem is that they don’t know what`s in store for them!
Watching your children grow up can be quite scary. Teens aren’t adults but want to be treated like ones. They want to be responsible for themselves, believing that it is uncool if their friends see their parents dropping them off to school or giving them a lunch box.
Puberty is more than just physical changes
Puberty is a very complicated phase, bringing physical and sexual characteristics which may be embarrassing to talk about. More importantly, it comes with emotional and psychological changes, such as extra-sensitivity, irritability, and conscious about their physical changes. Also, teens tend to feel torn between seeking freedom and their parents` guidance, so mood swings, anxiety, and depression are often common to occur, as a result.
You can also expect your teen to be more included to try out new things, such as new hobbies, driving, smoking, alcohol, dangerous sports, and sex.
Sexual attractions are inevitable, and they know to learn what is okay and what isn’t. This is the scary part for most parents! It starts with kissing… Boys usually dive right in, while girls are more likely to tell someone close about it. Teens are experimental and their “exploding” hormones only make things worse.
As a parent, you should always tell the truth about everything. If your kid asks you about sex it doesn’t mean that he/ her is doing it already. Tell them that even though sex is pleasurable, it is the best to wait until they become mature enough. Adolescence isn’t quite the right time to become sexually active.
Teach them about mutual consent, safe sex, and contraception. These topics are best discussed after bringing up other factors which contribute to a healthy sexual life, such as age, emotional maturity, and psychological development.
Be an influencer, not a controller
It is recommended to talk with your teen, rather than talk to them. You will often feel tempted to sit them down and scream, but you should come to terms with the fact that they aren’t kids anymore. Communicate frankly with them. Be open and give them a chance to speak their minds.
Have a deep conversation and talk about the changes they are going through. Explain to them that it is a phase they will get used to. Don’t be a controller. Give them a measure of freedom instead in order to prove to them that you trust them to make the right decisions.
As explained by Jamie Harrington, the author of Totally The Bomb,
“All these kids mature at different times. Sure, we can let their maturity guide us to some extent, but if it were left up to me, I’d probably keep mine under lock and key until she was 30 or so. And that can’t be right.
“You just have to trust. Trust that you raised a good kid with good morals and good sense. Trust that you knew what you were doing along the way, and trust in your kid. That all sounds good in theory, but in practice? I really just want to follow her around the mall like a creepy sneaky stalker person and just make sure she’s safe at all times.”