The Teenage years challenge:
The teenage years are challenging and confusing to teenagers who in turn may become a challenge to parents, teachers, and other teenagers. Yet these years are potentially the most productive. Teenagers need help in dealing with the challenge and in allowing their full potential to bloom.
A recent newspaper editorial talks about girl gangs at a Secondary School. We are already familiar with the male teenage gangs in schools, and some persons may be aware of self-inflicted cuttings or even teenage suicides,especially with girls. These teenagers come from all social and economic backgrounds; no economic or social sector is immune. When teenagers get into trouble, when they go with the wrong crowd, or when their academic performance begins to drop, the parents may be the last to know. Then the parents’ self-blame and guilt may kick in with “Where did I go wrong?”
Many parents wonder where they went wrong as they seek to come to terms with their teenager who was such a wonderful child in elementary school but is now difficult to understand.Teenager-parent conflicts can be stressful for both parent and teenager and may have negative long-term impact on the teenager as well as on the society in general.
It is not abnormal for teenagers to be impulsive, rude, rebellious, risk-taking, going to bed late,sleep-deprived, obsessed with the latest style or fad, seeming to prefer friends over parents,seeming to be influenced more by peers than by parent or teachers, having strong interest in sex,unwilling to talk to parents but talking with friends on the phone for hours, arguing with parents and slamming doors, with sudden mood swings… or, especially in the case of males, even to lose interest in school in spite of previously being a good student. Not surprisingly, worldwide there is the tendency for females to outnumber males in post-secondary academic institutions.
The answer to such behaviour lies in the teenage brain which is still under construction. With neuroscience advances and brain imaging technology, we now understand what is happening in that teenage brain. A teenage brain is not an adult brain. An adult may be guided by reasoning and logic but the teenager is ruled by emotions and the explanation for this difference lies in stages of development of the brain.
Our approach to a solution – effective parenting of teenagers:
For better teenage development and academic success, effective parenting is necessary.
There are 3 major parenting styles, one of which is necessary to have a well-balanced teenager who will grow into a happy, successful adult. The wrong style creates problems in the present especially between parent and teenager who may take the problems into his future adult life. The wrong style will drive your teenager even further into the world of his peers who may seem to understand and accept him/her even better than the parents…and your teenager may acquire core values and beliefs from these peers rather than from parents, teachers and role models.
Good parent-teenager relationship leads to better academic success and greater peace and harmony in the household as well as a more confident teenager with strong self-esteem. This relationship is strengthened when parents understand what is happening in the teenage brain; the sooner that this knowledge is acquired, the better is it for all – parents, teachers, teenagers,siblings and the society in general.
The TrainX Workshop on Understanding and Parenting the Teenage Brain will help parents understand what is happening in their teenagers’ brain and what behaviours they are likely to display in the next few years, and why they do display these behaviours often leading parents to ask “how could you?”. The Workshop provides a framework and guidance for effective parenting of teenagers as well as stress management techniques for participants.
• Learn about the windows of opportunity and windows of sensitivity that await their teenagers
• Understand the elements of the parenting style that works best with teenagers, including strategies that work and that do not work.
• Be provided with coping techniques to survive their teenagers’ emotions as well as with overall stress management techniques.
This 3-hour Seminar is beneficial to all parents of teenagers, and it is especially timely for parents of 12-14 year-olds who are about to enter the 14+ teenage years when behaviours listed above are most pronounced.