Posted on Sep 08,2021
Adolescence affects people in different ways. While the starting point may vary, the essentials remain the same. They mostly operate through their Limbic system (a region of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses) until they reach puberty, which relies on intuitive reflexes rather than reasoned responses provided by the Prefrontal Cortex (a part of the brain located at the front of the frontal lobe). They gain life abilities such as self-control, conscious decision making, judgments, and insight as their brains develop gradually.
Below mentioned are some of the common behavioural problems that have been observed in growing teenagers:
Everything is on high alert: texts, emails, and phone calls. Expecting them to be entirely transparent would result in pointless and unpleasant debates. They tend to dismiss what their parents say, disregard their advice, avoid confiding in their parents and appear more at ease with their friends.
Regular communication between parents of children in the same peer group is not only reassuring but also assists in keeping track of activities without making the children feel uncomfortable. When a sudden refusal to attend school/social events coincide with indicators of stress, additional attention is required.
● Rebel mode
Curfew violations, hair colouring, outlandish clothing, and constant bickering While you may agree to something temporary and harmless, you must reserve your concerns for significant and long-term changes to their look or lifestyle.
Encourage a sense of responsibility for self-made decisions, and you'll develop a habit of being responsible for the rest of your life. Even if they are having a good time, they must return home on time.
● Body image
When teenagers look in the mirror, they picture themselves as gawky, thin, and hairy. As their bodies change shape and size, teenagers struggle to feel at ease in their own flesh and embrace their bodies as they are.
While worrying about one's physical appearance is a frequent teen trait, a continuous feeling that their body is "not right" or unexpected changes in appetite (eating too much or too little) require professional help.
● Addiction to the internet
Teens' screen time might include project research, art, and music, as well as less useful activities such as watching inappropriate television shows, using social media or simply accessing dangerous websites.
Although it is impossible to avoid screen time in today's environment, one should make sure that it does not interfere with other activities such as physical activity, homework, and family time.
Obesity, concentration, and sleep difficulties caused by excessive screen usage require professional help.
● Sexual curiosity
As the saying goes, "what we resist persists" – sex and private parts have always been taboo issues, which has piqued the interest of teenagers.
A yearly medical exam, puberty information, and sharing your personal experiences with acne or discomfort from developing early or late could be just a few of the many methods to start communication channels early on and keep them open throughout the teen years.
● Commitment issues
If you notice your teen flitting from one activity class to the next, know that they are either following the herd (peers) or have yet to discover their calling. It could also be due to their inability to make reasonable judgments.
Encourage or coach them to follow through on their promises and learn to finish what they start.
Faking laughter at a friend's joke or blindly following the popular trend out of fear of being criticized or ostracised by peers may appear abnormal, yet it is most typical throughout the adolescent years.
Ex: Choosing to dress because it suits their body type or because they like it, not because it is in vogue, is an example of “healthy” conformity (accept diversity and scout bad influences).
Instead of policing and erecting a larger barrier, figure out why you're getting so worked up by skewed truths or outright lies about schoolwork or unaccounted costs. Whether it's to appear powerful, stay out of trouble/rejection from peers, or simply a lack of problem-solving aptitude.
Avoid using a judgmental tone to avoid the response of "I can't tell my parents anything." Instead, act as an emotional coach and talk about the repercussions of lying while realizing how frightening telling the truth might be. Lying is a process, not a one-time event.
● Dramatic reaction
Everything is attended with great emotional intensity due to shifting hormones and the intense emotions felt like never before - stupid gossips, the fallout with friends, or tiny tremors on social media. Building self-esteem will enable individuals to feel more at ease, reduce theatrical presentations, and deal with problems more delicately.
● Impulsive reactions
When given the choice of receiving £5 in an hour or £50 over the course of a month. The majority of teenagers would choose the first option. A teenage brain thrives on impulse, with its desire for instant reward and a desire to explore the universe.
Waiting for bigger rewards and looking at the big picture could help kids develop self-control.
Every teenage parent will benefit from the above list of common adolescent behaviour issues and solutions.
Some teenagers are risk-averse because their excitement overshadows the opportunity to learn from a terrible situation. Expert involvement would be required in such circumstances.
Steps of overcoming these common teenage issues
Teenage is indeed the most sensitive phase of life, this is the phase where a person is gouging through many changes and experiencing puberty in all the dimensions, not just physically. In this phase, the kid starts with their identity, likings, disliking, ideologies, and goes through a lot. Hence, it is quite important to sit and talk with them rather than fueling the impulse with restrictions and putting them under obligations. Here are a few steps you can count on in understanding your adolescent, and making your relation better with them instead of complicating them.
● Identify the problem
Here the term “identifying the problem” stands for stepping into your kid’s shoes. As it’s obvious that you will understand the issue from your experience and perspective, this will lead to more arguments. Hence, first of all, be on the same page and try to grasp the issue in the same way your kid does. Then try to talk it out before passing your judgement. Instead of saying “you should have called us when you were out on weekend” say “why you were not able to call us when you were out on the weekend”. These simple reinforcements will change the direction of the whole conversation, and you will realise how your kid starts telling you more instead of hiding it off.
You can also use the same tone of communication while addressing more serious issues like alcohol consumption or fistfight.
● Try to figure out why it’s a problem
To be honest, things like peer pressure (the kind a teenager is facing) or body image issues may not be a big deal for you, but for your teenage kid, the magnitude can be really high. Hence, talk calmly and ask questions like, why do you need this? Why is this so important for you? This way they will open up more and you will be able to find out the reason behind their behaviour, which all together will surely help them improve more.
● Give their issue a good thought
Create a list of all the methods you might be able to fix the problem. This way you're seeking a variety of options, both practical and irrational. Try not to pass judgement or engage in a debate just yet.
If your child is having problems coming up with ideas, start by offering some of your own. Make a wacky suggestion first to establish the tone - hilarious or extreme solutions often lead to more beneficial solutions. Make a group effort to come up with at least three possible ways to come out through the situation.
● Evaluate the solution you have chosen
Examine each proposal in turn, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each. Consider the benefits before the drawbacks; this way, no one will feel as though their ideas are being dismissed.
Cross off the alternatives where the disadvantages clearly outweigh the positives after compiling a list of the pros and drawbacks. Now give each solution a score ranging from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent) (very good). This will assist you in identifying the most promising options.
The solution you select will be one that you can implement and that solves the problem.
If you haven't found one that appears to be promising, return back to find out more solutions and explore other options. It could be beneficial to speak with other people, such as other family members.
● Take actions
Now that you are able to establish a new bond with your kid by being their friend, teammate and mentor, it is time to put the solution you have found into action. This is the most crucial part of changing your kid’s habits and laying the groundwork for a brighter future and strong character. Moreover, if the solution you have chosen did not work the expected way, change your strategy and keep working with your teenager until some firm clarification is found.
The crux lies in the friendship, acceptance and adaptation from both the parties (kids and parents). These fundamentals can literally transform the wild kid into a potentially responsible adult, all you need to be here is to be a little open-minded and be flexible in changing your own ideologies.