Teenage Children And Parental Control

This is a lovely story that I came across in one of the TV crime serials. That particular episode outlined a terrible crime involving a teenage girl 17 years of age who was repeatedly stopped and threatened from interacting with her boyfriend who was 18 years old. They belonged to different communities. After much strife and rebellion, the girl finally killed her mother orphaning her younger brother and herself. Her father had died in her childhood. The story I wanted to share goes like this:

Teenage Children and Parental control - Parenting Teenage Children

Once upon a time, there was a 13-year-old girl, Shikha, who studied in school. She comes home one evening and tells her mother that she likes a classmate, Manav, a lot. She wants to marry him. The mother gets all upset and lectures her on concentrating on her studies and tells her to go to the room.

In the evening, her father comes home from office. Shikha tells him the same thing. Her father seems quite fine with it. He says, “sure, we will get you married to him. It is a great idea, but you are very young. When you grow older, we will get you married. Meanwhile, meet him and get to know him better.” Happy to hear that and satisfied, Shikha retires to her room. Her mother is outraged at her husband’s words and shows her anger pointedly.

Six months later, Shikha comes to her dad and says that she does not like Manav anymore. She likes Puneet now. He is very smart and intelligent, and she would like to marry him. Her father says, he is fine with it. He will get them married when she is old enough after she completes her studies. 15 years later, Shikha sits in her family home with her toddler daughter and reminisces about this incident.

She is married to neither of these guys now. She asks her father whether he had said what he said with sincerity. And, her father said that he meant it truthfully. He knew that when the time will actually come to make the choice of her life partner, his daughter would use her gumption and wisdom. He wanted her to grow up and make her own choice when she was equipped to do so.

This story made so much sense to me. The raging hormones in teenagers and parents using force, verbal or physical abuse to make them toe the line is a recipe for disaster. Being patient is difficult and passing judgments on others is really easy. But, we have been through that phase and must approach the same in our children with restraint, respect and commonsense especially when they seem to be in the rebellion mode.

What do you think about the story and its implied message?

Rachna Parmar is an avid blogger, a passionate cook, fitness enthusiast, loving wife, and mom to two feisty sons and a Labrador! She is also a Freelance Content Writer and an entrepreneur. She co-owns her startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.  Reach her at http://rachnaparmar.com or @rachnaparmar her twitter handle.

  • I liked this story so much Rachna. It is better to ne friends with kids when they begin to understand things. Like Chanakya said, a child is to be disciplined in his formative years but later he is to be treated as a friend. I think I know Shikha 😛

    • Thank you Bhagyashree. It is a fictional story, Bhagyashree that I heard in Crime Patrol serial. I have just given some random names.

  • I really like the story Rachna as it made so much sense. I think parents should have confidence in their upbringing and there should be open channel for communication. Parents need to be friends when the child is a teenager as they can understand the child much better that way.

    • Thank you LP. I agree that parents must have confidence. And yet there are times when kids can put one through excruciatingly illogical behavior. But aggression will never help remedy that situation. At least I feel so.

  • Interesting story, Rachna. When parents are friendly, responsive, rational and guide children as per age-appropriateness, the results are much better. I so agree with this proverb, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”

    • Loved the proverb. So very true! Thanks Shilpa.

  • Fab

    That’s a very sweet story, Rachna!! And a wonderful way to deal with little teenage angsts 🙂

  • good one Rachna! Been there, but dont plan to ever do that! A mom can be the best friend a teenage daughter or son can get. Hormones are raging high, and the only one that can really practice self control is the parent….. The Dad in your story is indeed a hero !

    • He is and it is so difficult sometimes to be like him especially for parents. Thank you Poonam!

  • Ash

    Very good message Rachna ! Handling teenagers is always riddled with walking the fine line and the father walked the line perfectly.

    • So true Ash! It is indeed a fine line.

  • Roshni

    I loved the story, Rachna! Parents should recognize that they cannot have complete control over teenagers, although they should continue to remind them of certain values and principles. But, you must start trusting that you have taught them well in their early years and can now give them freedom to make their own decisions!

  • Completely agree Roshni!

  • The father in the story is tactical and seems to understand his daughter perfectly well. This story goes on to prove that it is understanding and not anger or force that strengthens the rapport between parents and kids. Not all puppy love stories work and perhaps kids should be let to discover it themselves. I am sure the girl grew up to be a confident and sensible woman and not bitter and belittled. Thanks for sharing this, Rachna. 🙂

    • Thank you DC. I am sure the girl was confident and later saluted her father’s wisdom. Being in a parent’s shoes, I know how often we face such situations in our lives and how it is important to be conscious of staying patient and rational.

  • Rahul

    There is a saying that when the children reach your shoulder height start treating them as friends and trust them. This story is a continuation of the same 🙂

    • True Rahul! Yet how many of us do it?

  • A very inspiring story. Dealing with teenagers is a Herculean job. We have to handle them very carefully. Even for the children it is difficult. So many physical and emotional changes leave them confused. Parents have to realise the conflicts in the child’s mind and tackle them with love, affection and understanding.

    • Thank you Ushaji! Completely agree with your thoughts.

  • Being friendly works only if from the beginning parents have brought the children with certain discipline and values.

    • That is true. But being too strict and overbearing often misfires.

  • Jas

    Very true Rachna. The more we suppress them, the more they outrage.

    • Agree Jas! Hopefully we will do better when our kids get there.

  • Lovely story, Rachna. Sometimes patient listening is all it takes to pacify the situation. It made me a bit wiser. Thanks a lot.

    • Thanks you so much for connecting with the story, Meenakshi!

  • Nice story with a moral, Rachna. It is very easy for us to judge and pass comments. But we need to be friends with them. Many times, I am tensed too as how I will deal with their teenage years..:)

    • You and I are in the same boat, Latha :). Aage aage dekhenge hoga kya!

      • yep…and there are going to be more and more years I will need you 🙂

        • We will swap stories :).

  • Children have so much exposure to information these days that parents mustnt wait for them to turn into teens and make them wise,guide them in time so that they are consistant in tgeir behaviour.
    Eventually,it is the parents who are res[onsible for the behaviour of the children.

  • Correct Chowlaji! But teenage is the most difficult time for parents and as you pointed out even earlier — tweens as we call them. We are there to guide and give values but we must do it in a humane manner with empathy. They will thank us for it when they are older.

  • Simple yet powerful message on dealings with teens……

    • KP

      Not all stories have a happy ending like this. A 13 year girl falling in love and telling her dad that she would marry some boy would need a different reaction.Instead of getting angry or even obliquely encouraging her to entertain such thought,the girl shoud have been advised that marriage is a serious matter, that she is too young for it and should grow a little more and focus meanwhile on her studies.The mind should be gently taken away from such ideasThere can be no objection to her being friends with boys but the thought of marriage should be discouraged.Such girls are also to be advised about the risk of intimacy.
      A tough job for parents but an essential one to keep their antennae tuned

      • I agree. Not necessary that all stories have a happy ending. But, by forcing a child and getting angry, we are cutting communication channels. The next time your child will hide her confused feelings from her parents. Of course, they need to focus on their studies and parents always nudge them to that. But by pushing their feelings under the carpet, they don’t go away. Who among us has not had crushes in our growing-up years and how many did action on them? These are part of growing up. Segregating, changing schools, censure etc. tells the child that the parent does not trust them and will push their will through. That is a very bad precedent to set. And as a parent I don’t approve of it. I am sorry if you got the idea that the father was encouraging a marriage. I don’t think he was. He was just being open and receptive so that she will not feel awkward in revealing her deeper feelings. Even my 10-year-old son knows that no one gets married this early. Sometimes, we do need to credit our kids with more intelligence.

    • Thanks Desi Traveler!

  • Nice story to give very important message

  • It is always a better option to treat your children as your friends.

    • Yes at that age they want to be treated with respect and as a grown up.

  • Saru Singhal

    I would have done the same thing as his father did. My brother is very young to me and as my mother was a working mom, I practically raised him. I always listened to what he said and gave his state of mind a lot of consideration before speaking. In fact, a lot of wisdom came from a TV serial I used to watch. Unlike Indian serials, US shows always had some message in it. It was ‘Full House’.

  • That’s really commendable on your part. Even my elder sis was very loving and encouaging and very patient with my younger brother and I. I miss good serials in India. Why can’t we have simple stories and real people with morals?

  • Oh yes! say no to them and make sure they do the exact opposite.

    • True Purba! Handling teens can be tricky.

  • Jaishvats

    Hi Rachna
    A lovely story but patience seems to be so easy in fiction . In reality God knows how each one of us would handle such situations . I will remember this story for a long way to come . Thanks for sharing

  • True Jaish! And I can’t agree with you more. As parents, we know how difficult children can be, and it is not easy to stay calm. But from a larger perspective, anger and control can be really futile. I hope I can remember this as well when my kids reach there.