Psychology of Troubled Teens

Young kids play an extremely important role in our lives. As parents, we provide them with rules and expectations as guidelines to grow up with. We like to see them become well equipped people, who can stand up straight in this wild world. We expect compliance when they are still young. But that compliance goes quickly out the window, once they grow up. By the time they reach their teenage years, they have the innate ability to drive you nuts in no time at all, by defying all the rules.

At work, we might be able to face the toughest situations, deal with the worst clients, or make the best decisions under stress. But, what is your first line of defense at home? How do you successfully cope with these young “know-it-all?

Teens and Sex

Young people are constantly warned what will happen if they hang out with the wrong crowd, but a new study finds that when it comes to prejudices and stereotypes, friends do not have much influence. The study by psychologist Harold D. Fishbein, Ph.D., and sociologist Neal Ritchey, Ph.D., found no significant effects from the attitudes of friends on an adolescent’s prejudices or stereotypes.

We are living in a world where it is still believed that boys can be sexually aggressive and it is the duty of the girls to resist sexual advances

As far as teenagers are concerned, their main sources of information on sexuality are friends, books and pornographic films. Parents are not their informants. Many parents give guidance only on prohibition without explaining the actual processes involved. Many a time, parents hush their adolescents to silence when they talk about a single friend of the opposite sex. Rather parents should encourage conversation and should also feel free to invite their teenager’s friends and have a healthy get together at home.’

Teen’s Pressure

In today’s competitive world, one needs to struggle and fight to make it in this dynamic, yet uncertain environment that is both stressful and anxiety-inducing.

Teenagers basically feel three kinds of pressure today: Pressure to perform; Pressure to conform; Pressure to reform

Pressure to perform: The pressure to perform comes principally from parents, teachers and peers to do well academically. The lack of aptitude tests or respecting the student’s preferences pushes them into fields which may not interest them or for what they are not equipped.

Pressure to conform: Apart from the pressure to perform well, they are often told how they must conform to the norms laid down by society. Pressure to reform: This is common especially in students in the age group of 13 to 17. Everybody is telling them when to wake up and what to do… Here’s what you can do —
Anxiety: A sign of stress is holding one’s breathe. The easy way out is to take deep breaths at regular intervals trying to calm your mind.

Workload: One needs to understand that one is strong enough to handle the tough challenges in life, studying and assignments being two of them.

Procrastination: Procrastinators need to cultivate the “art of starting” and this involves dealing with the minor discomfort experienced while beginning a much-disliked task. Once the job has been started, it is much easier to continue.

Assertiveness-Aggressiveness conflict: When one is assertive, one runs the risk of being aggressive. During heated arguments, verbal duels, disagreements or discussions, make it clear that although you are not in favour of the opinion of the other person, you are open to what he/ she is saying.

Others: Some students worry about factors like social and financial status, intelligence and habits that might make them different from their peers.

Do let your teen know what your values are, and your availability to discuss any matter, or to answer any question. With teenagers, parents must explain the reasons for their decisions and encourage a dialogue whenever possible. It is also important for parents to acknowledge and listen to their teens’ thoughts and have them feel that they’re understood. Discipline in the teen years is not just about rules, it’s about youngsters learning values, trying on adult behavior and accepting responsibility. Its their duty and they have to do it for the sake of their teens. Parents have give their teens the gift of love and understand their feelings also. The most precious gift parents can give their children is the gift of time.

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