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Parenting Decoded: Tweens And Teenagers

“Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born.”– G. Stanley Hall

Every parent, however confident, knows that their child’s teenage years will be a roller coaster for them. Parents expect rebellion, silence, awkward questions and a lot more challenges from their kids in their adolescent years. It gets difficult for some parents to believe that the same sweet child who ran into their arms sweetly now hates being fussed over in public. Don’t worry, your child has not mutated, they’re just grappling with the biggest change of their lives. This edition of Parenting Decoded will help you deal with your not-so-little Frankenstein’s monster, we mean your tween and teenager. Read on!

1. Bringing up Tweens

Earlier, only teenagers used to act irrational, be stubborn and cocky. Aaah…The good old days! Nowadays, this behaviour starts from tweens itself. Tulika Singh is an experienced ‘Tweenage Negotiator’, and she gives you some handy Dos and Dont’s.

2. What’s In It For Me?

The parent of every teenager will remember the exact moment when they realized that their child has crossed the threshold to becoming a teenager. It’s a new and exciting time for both the parents and the child, and the way to make the most of it is to do it together. Read Ritu Lalit‘s experience of her children’s growing up years.

3. Being Mum To A Teenage Girl

If you’re a parent of a teenager, you might be forgiven for thinking that the days of your kid’s childhood were but a dream. Since you have to be the anchor for your teenager, you would do well to keep your feet firmly on the ground by creating strong reference points for your child’s transformation, as Ronita Maitra did.

4. Fledgling Feelings

Along with teenage come the gushing hormones and confusing feelings about the opposite sex. Boys and girls, who have been pulling pigtails and hitting each other, suddenly discover other emotions about each other. It is the parents’ job to help kids deal with these new thoughts, and how you do it can shape their relationships forever, says Rachna Parmar.

5. Grown Up Girls

Teenage can be a confusing time for children, especially girls. The physical changes taking place are staggering by themselves, but add to that the lack of information and the expectations from girls, and girls can find themselves truly at sea. Usha Menon tells you what girls go through at this age and how they deal with it.

6. Cryptic Communication

You teach your toddler to talk, but when they become teenagers, they’re the ones teaching you words like ‘Whatevs, Rad, Like, IRL, Fam, and much more’. Good luck catching up, because as Gauri Venkitaraman discovers, this language changes at the speed of light.

7. Teenage Myths And Reality

In theory, adolescence is a part of transitioning from childhood to adulthood through a series of changes. In reality, teenage is a minefield of surprises and learning, both for kids and parents. What’s the secret to tackle this reality? Rekha Nair offers a solution.

8. The Social Teenager

‘Mom, can I have my own Facebook/Twitter/ Tumblr account? All my friends are on it?’ Have you faced this question? How do you deal with it? Social media is a treasure trove of information, but there are traps galore for young minds. The trick is to let them enjoy all the positive aspects of social media, but warn them of the dangers so they can steer clear of them, as Dr. Asrani explains.

9. The Rare ‘Happy’ Teenager

Teenagers are known to be sarcastic, surly or unresponsive. But a HAPPY teenager? That sounds like a rare creature no? Not if you listen to Vidya Sury, who gives you some valuable tips on raising a happy teenager. Whoa!

10. Team Teenager!

Watching your little child grapple with the changes of puberty is challenging for any parent. So imagine what kind of an experience it must be for the teenagers themselves. During this time, the most important thing is to be on their team and ensure that your child has all the information he/she needs to deal with the phase. Don’t brush things under the carpet and make this beautiful period daunting for your kids. Gypsy Mamas tell you how.

11. Poetic Puberty

We love little girls because they are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Ironically, this becomes the reason parents worry about them when they hit puberty. They feel like advising them, guiding them and protecting them, as Anandam Ravi expresses so eloquently.

Teenage is a time of flux, changes and parents witnessing their child’s transformation into a confident, strong, smart and mature adult. A parents can be the best coach, friend, guide and partner for a teenager, so put aside your feelings of wonder and worry, and hold your teenager’s hand (even if they pretend not to like it). The power is in your hands!