Same, But Only Bigger

It is just that their peer group’s opinions matter a lot now, whereas when they were younger, their whole world revolved around the home and family. Their parents and family were their whole world back then.

Teenage-hood is actually very similar to the period of pre- school age, in that, children are once again coping with their developing bodies and brains as well as learning to cope with more mature emotional, reasoning and analytical skills. Also, they now possess the physical maturity and skills (albeit lacking the emotional and mental skills as compared to the adult) to do more than they used to.

A Teenage Preschooler

Just as the young child is learning to express himself and use his body to run, jump, and create movements previously difficult, so is the teen. Just as the young child is learning to manage her emotions in socially acceptable ways so is the teen.

Coping with responsibilities stemming from new abilities learned is another added life task both the young child and a teen have to cope with. The young child starts learning to cope at school and having to interact with peers on different levels, the teen copes with feelings of sexual attraction in relationships, and a host of other more intense feelings than before.

As they get older, parents assume that they are on different wavelengths with their children and it often seems that way. Even though teenagers may be experiencing different environmental and economic situations, they still search for independence and self-identity as all teens over the generations have. But this does not mean that their parents have to “let them go”. Parents staying securely connected is vital to a teen’s mental and emotional health.

There are many adults out there who have issues with abandonment. Instead of adjusting the bond making it flexible, many parents cut it off. The latter is often due to the parents’ own fears, and they thicken it or shorten the bond until their children feel claustrophobic and can’t feel the independence (and even privacy) they crave for. In doing so parents push their children away, then wonder why their children, “don’t care”.

Parental Adjustments To Teen Behavior

Children love asking questions. The persistent “whys” have not changed from before, just that previously it may even be considered cute but in teenage-hood, the same may be considered “argumentative”. In reality, the teen is just developing his mental skills. It doesn’t always have to be an adversarial encounter. If handled well, meaningful and interesting conversations can develop.

Take a few deep breaths and open your heart. Keep love in your heart and mind. Allow your child (teen) to practice his newfound intellectual skills. Respond calmly, do not react. Allow the flow of conversation without judgment.

“Teenage-hood is actually very similar to the period of preschool age: coping with developing bodies and brains, and learning to cope with more mature emotional, reasoning and analytical skills. “

“As they get older, parents assume that they are on different wavelengths with their children.Teenagers search for independence and self-identity as all teens over the generations have. But this does not mean that their parents have to ‘let them go’.”

The funny ways your child refers to his body parts or the way he always thought he was the smartest child, she the prettiest one in class, have now developed into worries that he or she is too fat or too skinny, not tall enough, have big ears, etc. Or that everyone will be looking at him or her and making all sorts of cruel judgments.

Take a few deep breaths and open your heart. Keep love in your heart and mind. Breathe in patience, breathe out irritation. Allow the flow of conversation without judgment. Assure your child all is fine, that they are loved and things are just the way they are meant to be.

The Cynical Explorer

The child who used to look up to you as the expert or as the one who is always right, may now be judging everything you do, analyzing your every action and belief. Examining the family’s belief system as well as that of the culture he is raised in is a normal thing. Exploring the world with his mind is a normal part of growing up. Be open to any type of questions, even those that scare you or may not seem “appropriate” . Together with him, you can explore answers to questions that you have no answers to, or at least point him in the right direction to find the answers himself.
Take a few deep breaths and open your heart. Keep love in your heart and mind. Allow the flow of conversation without judgment. Welcome the questions in a neutral manner. Give honest answers appropriate to the child’s level of understanding. Tell him that if he comes across anything confusing, he can always come back to you. Hug him. Project feelings of security.

Love and trust couched in a strong connection, are still the most important ingredients in creating lasting relationships with your child. Start early, make the connection strong but flexible. Cultivating this connection is of upmost importance at any stage in your child’s life. Your child needs you always. A Parent is for Life. But don’t hover, allow.

Or just Be…..there.

The funny ways your child refers to his body parts or the way he always thought he was the smartest child, she the prettiest one in class, have now developed into worries that he or she is too fat or too skinny, not tall enough, have big ears, etc. Or that everyone will be looking at him or her and making all sorts of cruel judgments.

Take a few deep breaths and open your heart. Keep love in your heart and mind. Breathe in patience, breathe out irritation. Allow the flow of conversation without judgment. Assure your child all is fine, that they are loved and things are just the way they are meant to be.

THE GOLDEN SPACE HOLISTIC INSTITUTE

The Golden Space Holistic Institute (TGSHI)’s mission is to nurture a new generation of youth and support stakeholders in raising a future generation with high levels of self-awareness, compassion and environmental consciousness, and who are caring members of the global community. In doing so TGSHI advocates an integrated and interconnected holistic education for all youth. This new generation will be able to impact the lives of others in positive, supportive and harmonious ways. For more information, please contact Rose Wong at contact@tgsholisticinstitute.org.