Parenting Teens in Difficult Times

Mehreen Masud, Counsellor

“How many times do I have to repeat this” or “you are so annoying.” You would probably be familiar with this kind of conversation if you are the parent of a teen. As it visibly sounds, parenting has never been an easy job throughout the generations; in fact, it can be more challenging when you have teenaged kids trying to exert their newly discovered powers, in the form of anger outburst, on to you despite all the efforts you made to discipline.  Things even get a lot more complicated if you’ve brought up respecting your parents and complying with their decisions without questions, and now it is nerve-racking to get your point come across. Not only this, you feel like drowning in the water if you are living in a joint family system where your parenting style might be judged by the display of your kids’ behaviour.

Circumstances like these may, in turn, take a heavy toll on you if you are already in a difficult situation, being a single parent, having relationship issues, or going through COVID related stress. Take a breath; you are not alone in this; as being a teen parent, I feel the same ebbs and flow of parenting that also come along with bundles of joy.

Being a teenager parent is not easy, but being a teenager is tough too. Just flip the side for a moment so you may able to see what is on the other side of the mountain. You may notice how your sweet 15 years old is struggling hard to manage his/her hormonal changes that occur in the brain that is usually at its peak during puberty. You may also be able to observe Erickson’s identity crisis of his/her new role after being exposed to the secondary growth into its body. That’s how they act more likely an adult and don’t ready to accept your commands as opposed to the old ways of interaction you are accustomed of.

Knowing this may ease off the burden a bit and helps you be more receptive to deal with it. The good news is that it is not too late to improve your parent-child bond. You can still make conscious efforts to get this through, but that doesn’t mean you can fix it all either. Sometimes you don’t know how to resolve disagreement and be on one page, but honestly, you don’t have to. All you can do as a parent to be there for them, listen to them with your calm (no matter how hard it is), hug them, kiss them (if possible), or send text messages to connect, regardless of your dispute.

If this is something you find really difficult to do while undergoing additional stresses in your life, give some quality time to yourself either in the form of meditation or reflecting upon yourself when you were a teenager and what you missed being treated at that time regardless of what you have gone through.

In the end, I would conclude with this beautiful message:

You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight. You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream. You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life. Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream, the print of the way you taught them will remain  
                                                                                                                                                                                                – Mother Teresa
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