As a parent of two teens, I am often asked how to deal with teens and high school issues. The truth is I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Personally for me, it’s been a learning curve. What often works with one of my teens doesn’t always seem to work with the other one. It’s been a lot of trial and error. Let’s face it not all kids can handle the transition from middle school to high school, whilst in their teens, with maturity and insight. Many of them get overwhelmed with the changes high school now brings, that they lose their ability to think for themselves. As adults, these issues may seem silly or even non-existent. However, these issues are just as much real, as issues of adult life. The severity with which they affect your teen and shape their mind, makes it imperative for parents and teachers to understand when dealing with high-school student issues. Let’s look at some of the problems, which are usually brushed under the rug by most adults, until they surface as irreparable damage.
Teens and high school issues
Teens between the ages of 15-17, usually start developing relationships outside the home which is completely natural. However, most of these new relationships are often hidden from parents if the friends happen to be older. If your teen is spending too much time online on social networks, talking on the phone or texting at all times, it is now time for you to intervene. Teens at this age are often secretive, defensive, and rebellious. The moment you judge them on the basis on their friends; they will go out-of-the-way to do the things they aren’t supposed to, in order to hurt you. Not only will this jeopardize your relationship with your teen, but it will also earn you the label of over controlling parent who just doesn’t understand. I’m not saying that is true but of course that is what most teens are going to THINK. Estranged relationships with teenagers are very difficult to mend, especially if there is a chance of them moving out for college soon. Make your teen observe their own friends and give them the opportunity to realize the wrong aspects of their company. Being supportive is very important to maintain a relationship of trust with your teenager.
We all know that peer pressure is one of the biggest issues that every teen faces. It may be as simple as skipping classes to as serious as smoking and underage drinking. Most parents’ feel that peer pressure cannot be dealt with, as it takes place outside the home. However, peer pressure does change the way your teen behaves at home, in more ways than you think. For instance, changes in speaking patterns, dressing styles, academics and overall behavior, are very much dictated by peer pressure. Being a little observant and noticing the changes, will help you see the effects of peer pressure at home. Help your teen see the changes and make them realize the importance of uniqueness. Making your teenager understand the need to think on their own, can save them from dire consequences of peer pressure.
Let’s face it sometimes high school comes as a breather for teens after years of strict schooling and hand holding. With a lot more free time on their hands, books often take a backseat and the focus shifts to everything else other than grades. At this stage, high-school students begin to get lower grades and negative feedback from teachers sent home to parents. So, be sure to make a mental note of where your child’s focus is deviating and look deeper into the problem to understand the root cause. At these stages’ friends, clubbing, video games, social networks and other such as extra-curricular activities, yield nothing constructive, and usually become the focus of life for high-school students. Instead of reprimanding your teen, try to talk to them and make them understand that academics and fun can be balanced with a little planning and time management.
Lack of Ambition
As the focus from academics’ shifts, a lack of ambition usually sets in. The drive to achieve good grades and to do well in high school are overshadowed by love tangles, triangles, and friendships. Show your teen the possible career in all streams and help him figure out their inclinations. Sometimes it takes a little while for teens to know what they want to do after high school, however, it isn’t an impossible task to start thinking and working towards it early on. Lack of ambitions needs to be fueled with right interest, to get your child back on the track of following his dreams.
The truth is every teen faces these difficulties and dealing with teen issues is no easy mission. However, giving up on your teenager is not an option either. High school brings teens on crossroads, which leaves them in an incomprehensibly chaotic state of mind. However, with patience and a will to help your teen become an independent and empowered person, who can differentiate between the right and wrong is only a part of parenting!