ANGST AND ANGER
DEALING WITH TEENS
We were all teenagers once. Today’s teenager in Singapore is largely different from the teens of the past. Teens are more open minded, opinionated and less likely to take orders compared to the teens of the past, but they all do still share some common traits.
Be a friend first
In order to understand what teens are really feeling, parents should play the role of a friend first instead of acting like their parent. For some reason, many teens feel scared to tell their parents their problems. It is therefore a good idea to communicate with them on a daily basis – without pressurising them. Get to know their interest and their friends in school. Then they will be more open to sharing their problems.
Be rational not authoritarian
You don’t have to always act as a discipline master in front of your teen. If he/she did something wrong, talk to them rationally first. Teens are humans too and they need to know what they did wrong first before anything else. Often they do not know the consequences of their actions and scolding and disciplining without letting them know the problem will only aggravate things.
Most often teens may go into depression and refuse to share anything with their parents. Be sensitive about such issues and refrain from scolding. If an adult talks to them nicely, they may just open up. They may be reluctant in sharing their issues at first, but over time if parents are sensitive, non-judgemental, loving and patient, they may have a change of heart. Anything is possible.
Teens are complicated. But they are not unmanageable.