Empowering teenagers


Infants are like clay and easily to be set in a mould. They are sponge and ready to absorb information. They attune to all kinds of teachings and follow their parent’s path. Slowly they become impressionable and there are gestures that demand attention. They have an identity and have various means to show their individuality. Parents and relatives often find traits that seem parallel to their parents in terms of food habits, verbal instincts, penchant for tidiness but all this seems to be changing slowly as the child attains puberty and steps into the teen age.


Contrary to the belief that teenagers are obstinate, this is in fact the best time for building friendship with your child. Kids at this age want a character and also want to prove themselves to you and the world at large. For them accomplishments are in terms of material forms, physical appearance, academic pursuits and exhibiting their talents and organizational skills. When they are cornered or when they are constantly told to follow path, they either retreat or retaliate.


No parent would want a teenager with low self esteem or a rebellious vagabond. Firstly it is difficult time for parents too to accept that this is a part of growth. Hormonal factors, the sudden acne or weight gain affects their moods and here they are just seeking attention from parents. Just as you would hug your toddler while recovering from flu, teenagers also need that warmth, understanding and affection.


Allow the teenage daughter to pick the New Year outfit and tell them the budget. See if they can use some existing accessory or shoes to curtail the expenditure. If your teenage son has already taken up a summer job then show him a few things by which he can save or invest. Give him the opportunity to pay up for the monthly dairy bill. If the teenager wants an internet connection then let them pay for the same if they are earning.


Empowering them will boost their self esteem and also give them the confidence to conduct themselves. Let them choose the bed sheet or new upholstery or help you clean the kitchen or fridge. Allot them jobs so that they feel responsible. Allow them privacy but also let them respect you through self discipline. Teenage time also means affixing responsibility and do not spoil them by hunting their waist belt or searching for their art book. Love them, correct them gently, they are growing and still need you.

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