A teen goes through a lot of changes like hormonal, emotional and physical which might seem just a normal growth process to adults but it can leave a lasting impact on their body, mind and soul. How the adults behave in the family with kids, will affect their emotional and psychological development. A teen who experiences frequent scolding on small ignorable issues and comparison to fellows will create anger and deteriorate love for self. When this lasts long enough, the anger and frustration provoke self-destructive thoughts. The teen will try to harm him/her self in order to end everything.
In my experience there are two sides to it:
1. What a kid is experiencing? What is it that the kid is not getting from parents? Is that love, attention, appreciation, time, care or identity as an individual.
2. What the parents are going through? What is the financial situation? Are there any relationship issues or because of aging are they experiencing hormonal and psychological changes or other health related issues? Or and a big OR are they sensitive enough towards their children for their healthy upbringing?
As these are interlinked, it is important to address both the issues and work on the root causes of both. In absence of either, even an improving situation can collapse at any time.
The reason why I am talking about this is because these are the changes that occur as a part of our life which we tend to ignore. It is during this time period when a child is growing into a teen and the parents are also growing and going through many changes themselves. During this phase, parents may express their frustration, anger and act in a rude way, whereas, a teen at the same time might not feel connected to his/her own parents and surely would not be in a condition to take care of parent’s mood.
At such a time, as a responsible parent you have to remind yourself that you are going through a phase which will eventually pass and hence you don’t need to release your anger towards your growing kid. Remember that these bitter memories and moments stay somewhere in the back of the child’s mind and come back to trouble the now grown up person when receiving a similar trigger.
When parents leave their growing kid under-appreciated, alone and deprived of affection, this will affect their personalities and make them vulnerable to similar situations in life ahead. Life happens as it normally does, it is one’s capability and confidence to tackle challenges that goes down when one experiences lack of support and appreciation as a kid.
What to do if you think you as a parent are in such a situation?
I would like to emphasize the side which is relatively less addressed….the Emotional and Psychological status of the parents.
First thing to do is to acknowledge that you are probably going through some important changes when transitioning through the midlife and not to forget these changes are highly influenced by your status of relationship, finances, career and health related issues. The more you start to acknowledge and address them, more you will be able to take control of your wellbeing. Your wellbeing will promote your children's wellbeing!
Secondly and importantly, pay attention to how you are responding to your kids on a day to day basis. Are you unintentionally or intentionally directing your frustration and anger towards them. Before acting think whether you have understood their feelings properly. Are you being unreasonably angry on them? Assess your own actions before declaring them irresponsible, stupid and disrespecting. Try to understand their side of the situation. This will not only calm you down but also save your child from scarring for ever.
Lastly and most importantly, try to reach out to a close friend or if required to a therapist to work on your situation. Have faith in yourself that you will sail through the difficult times with some help and you will not let your child be a victim of the situation.
So let’s make an intentional effort to acknowledge that when we are not at our best; that somethings may not be right with us now, but we will address the situation and will not let our kids be affected and underappreciated due to our odd situation.
Always remember that Your Wellbeing will promote your Kids Wellbeing!