Teenage is often one of the most difficult phases of an individual’s life. The pressure on parents to guide their children through this sensitive stage is no less. With both mental and physical changes of the body, the truth is that the child and the parent are equally confused. Here are a few signs that you can look out for to recognise that your child has entered teenage and it is time for you to stay alert.
#1 They Have Their Opinions
Teenage is when children develop individualism. You maybe the one who had helped them with the tiniest matter until then but that doesn’t matter because now they see themselves as individuals who can take independent decisions. If your daughter or son comes up with a totally new perspective on a matter they have silently accepted until then or start questioning family traditions, there is no need to be shocked. They have just become teenagers and are voicing out their opinions. In such a situation, most parents do the mistake of suppressing or ridiculing these which will cause only resentment in the family. Try to explain things rationally to them and if they don’t agree to everything you believe in, start accepting the fact that they are not your carbon copies.
#2 The Clock is Upside Down
It is quite often that you find your child’s bedroom light switched on till late at night, even spilling into the early morning hours. They sleep in late only to wake up in the afternoon for a brunch. Their habits are not what they used to be and the timetable is all over the place. It may seem like a messed up arrangement for you but for your teenage child, this is perfectly just another normal day.
#3 They Know What’s Best For Them
You are disappointed that your daughter who asked your opinion on anything she bought until then suddenly came home with shopping bags after a day out with her friends. She proudly shows them to you and even if you don’t exactly like a clothing she has bought, it doesn’t matter to her because she knows what looks good on her. There’s no need to panic. You are not losing your child. Neither is she becoming a stranger. She is just developing on her own terms and it’s best to let her explore, while making sure that she is safe.
#4 They Start Having Different Kind of ‘Friends’
It doesn’t matter what your son tells you but your instinct simply knows that the girl he is always around with is not just a friend. You start noticing that your children are having more and more relations with other youngsters of the opposite, or sometimes even their own, gender. It may not take long before they come to you and introduce them as their girlfriend or boyfriend. Teenage is a sexually nascent stage. With the hormones going all over the place, it is absolutely normal for your children to develop feelings for others. Restricting them to do this on this is not going to stop them but simply make them do it behind your back.
#5 Speaking New Languages
It took you at least half an hour to figure out what it was that your son was trying to tell you. With the new short forms and slang that you are not familiar with at all, it’s almost as if your child has started speaking a new language. You get short responses and they come in a few alphabets. This is a sign that your child has moved on from your small home sphere to a larger community where they are trying to fit in. Don’t question them about this. Try to make sense of these using Google and reply back using these. This will help them grow closer to you when they feel that you are one amongst them as well.
#6 All New Interests
Their interests have gone a three sixty degree shift and you are not sure what it is that they listen or watch. To you, the lyrics that they sing and the characters they adore are pure gibberish. Listen on to their random talks about their celebrity crushes or the movie they are waiting eagerly for. This will help them open up to you when there are bigger and more important things to talk about.
#7 They Become Super-Sensitive
While your child’s teenage years is not exactly the most comfortable phase for you, the truth is that neither is it for your child. Things that may have been absolutely fine to tell them once upon a time may make them lose their temper all of a sudden. Doors may start getting slammed more than being shut. The fact is that, with all the hormonal rush, they are no more in control of their emotions than you are. Sit with them and talk about it. Tell them how they can overcome their emotional turmoil and be a constant part of their struggle.
#8 You See Them Faking It
Peer pressure is an important factor of teenage. When you suddenly start seeing your child do things you are sure they are not very comfortable doing, that is the time to point out and hold their hand. Teenagers are often under pressure to do things that would help them ‘fit in’. As an adult and a parent, it is your responsibility to tell them that, while trying out new things is fine, there is no gain in experimentation if they end up losing themselves.
#9 Their Body Starts to Change
A definite sign of teenage is the bodily changes that your child is going through. Body hair, development of breasts and menstruation for girls, facial hair growth and voice change for boys are some of the natural pointers that you can look out for. Prepare your child for these so that they do not become traumatised at all the new changes. Tell them what to expect and how they can deal with this. Try to bring in a few biological facts about why this happens as well to give them the whole picture.
#10 Social Media Knows More About Them Than You Do
If you want to know where exactly your child was last night, you’ve got to check their social media profile. With Facebook and Instagram taking over the youth, it is almost impossible to keep a track of your child’s activities without this. Stay careful, though. Teenagers are more tech-savvy than you are and there are always ways to cheat if they feel that you are monitoring them. Give them their freedom, become their friend and relax your rules a little to help build a healthy bond with your teenager kids.