“Since he entered high school, I don’t recognize my boy anymore”, writes a reader. “I find out from others that he fights in the recreations, that he fights, that he walks in a gang and takes his teachers over his feet. At home, he denies everything, says we are exaggerating. He has low grades and when I ask him what he will do at Baccalaureate, he shrugs his shoulders. His father had a few talks with him, but in vain.
He closes himself in it and leaves, slamming the door. Instead, he talks for hours on the phone or on Facebook with his friends. He doesn’t give an account of where he goes, he comes back late. This is not the education I gave him! We would like to understand him, to help him, but he won’t let us.” Does the story sound familiar to you? A lot of parents complain about the behavior of their children who have reached the age of puberty and the environment that “spoils them”.
The temptation of the forbidden fruit
Don’t think that if you have educated your child as per the book, he will stay away from the negative influences of those around him and from the countless temptations of life. Out of curiosity, in order to grow in a group of friends or to imitate his idol of the moment (actor, singer, leader of the gang he belongs to), the teenager will be tempted by the forbidden fruit.
Tobacco, alcohol, dangerous substances, unprotected sex, and even various illegal actions are just as many challenges for a teenager looking for thrills or just wanting to defy his parents.
“It is good to start building a good relationship with your child early. Because if you know his entourage, his friends and the world in which he revolves, then the chances of having a say in a borderline situation increase. Once through communication with the entourage and secondly through the weight your actions have, again through the prism of confidence and self-confidence”, says psychologist Alexandr Cojocaru.
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Even if you watch your child carefully or beat him on the head, you will not be able to completely free him from the influence of the gangs he is part of or from people who are harmful to his development.
It is best to direct him, with diplomacy, towards groups where the child can fully express himself or carry out activities that he is passionate about, or that can provide him with role models. Is he into electric guitar? Enroll him in courses in the field. Does he like speed, adrenaline, adventure? Encourage him to play a sport.
Don’t forget that you, as a parent, can also be a potential source of stress for your teenager, especially if you tend to continue treating him like a child. Or, he wants to be perceived as an adult, sure of himself (even if he is not), with defined opinions and goals.
He doesn’t like being teased, spied on, given orders, threatened with punishment. Try to keep your cool even when you’re dealing with the problems he’s made. Repeat to him at every opportunity that if he feels the need to be listened to and to communicate, if he has problems, he always has a free way to your ears and heart. And tell him that when he suffers, the whole family suffers with him.
Serious discussions are required, but without hysteria. Repeat to the child that everything has a price in this world, that from now on he is big and responsible for his actions, even if the parents are the “bosses” until he reaches adulthood. Also tell him that success in life depends, from now on, on the decisions he makes himself. And that you will always be there, ready to give him advice.
Managing things properly is better than banning them. You have to know how to communicate, so that the teenager comes to understand what are the risks to which he is subject and has the ability to make good decisions for himself.
Most of the time, the emotional area also saves you. The stories with interpretation, the examples from his world are the ones that have a better chance of reaching his soul than a scientific and rational explanation that he can understand, but which does not move him at all.