Adolescence. Instructions for use – how to survive a child’s adolescence

Gathered my knowledge, which I share in consultations with parents of teenagers. Happy to give my baggage to you. Use it to your advantage! 

Teenager. Instructions for use. Or what to do when “the forces are gone, my own child is unrecognizable, what is it doing with my life”? 

1. Yes, this is your child. He hasn’t been switched. He has been that way since he was born . 

2. All the trials of adolescence are a reason for parents to be happy. Simply because everything has to be done in time. The steeper a person passes the crisis due to age, the more productive and, to some extent, easier the next one will be (there are (usually) 8-9 age crises in a person’s life). 

3.The source of endless patience in dealing with a teenage child is in answering the question, “What did/did I do at this age? As soon as this question is answered inside you: “I was a normal kid and my parents had no problems with me,” – smile! Your “teenage” crisis has caught up with you at the same time as your “baby,” and it’s about to begin. Only it will be called the “Midlife Crisis. 

4.Look for answers to questions about your child’s behavior in your reflection in the mirror. 

5. Adolescence is a temporary condition. “This” age will end one day, the problems will go away. Others will begin, but these will be gone for sure. 

6. All the time you will be a parent of a teenager, you will be talking so much that you will know what it is like to have a sore tongue. But there are no other options here. Talk, talk, talk.The difference between “blow your mind” and “speak” is critical (!) to grasp.  

7. Yes, you have to weigh your every word and make every step on the assumption that you are in a minefield. There is no other option. But the trust that will develop between you and your teenager during this difficult period will never disappear, and betrayal can forever deprive you of the ability to communicate with each other. 

8. Great help for parents of a teenager can be the grandparents of the teenager. Simply because our parents have been through their children’s teenage crisis and know full well that “this too shall pass.” 

An important remark here: this point works provided that there is no internal intergenerational conflict in the family and that all participants in the parenting process “look the same way”. 

9. The teenager needs to communicate with very different and very strange peers in order to try on all of the possible roles in society. 

10. Form your teenager’s social circle. Do research together about the courses – clubs – camps – projects. It is important (!) to study the issue independently and be ready to offer and suggest new things, as well as to go to the meetings together with your son or daughter (if the son or daughter doesn’t mind, of course). 

At the same point: important adults – teachers, coaches, tutors and mentors. For a teenager, sometimes “strangers” have much more authority than “their own”. You always have the option of “interacting” with the adults who surround my child. 

11. The fear of “he might do something to himself” is one of the main ones. Only talking to your teenager ( see point 11) and your own love of life ( the latter spreads to our kids like the flu virus) can help you here. 

12. Don’t even try to compare your situation with how and what happens in the same circumstances in other families. You as a parent and your teenage child are unique, you are the only one. There is no repeat and there never will be. 

13. “I don’t love you,” “Other parents have normal people and only you don’t understand me” – these are phrases your teenager says in order to learn to say them in principle. He (the teenager) is “practicing on cats,” like Vitsin’s character in Operation Y. 

Rejoice. This skill (to voice your feelings and emotions) will be very useful to your child in life. 

Don’t even think about saying, “I don’t love you.”  . The child loves his parents unconditionally. So do the parents of children. Moms certainly do.   

14. If a teenager desperately lacks love and warmth in his family, he will look for it elsewhere. That was the point about sex among teenagers. 

15. Any lie is always a cry for help (every situation is different, but essentially, yes, the person needs help). This also includes stealing. It is very common among teenagers from families where there are addicts ( love can be an addiction too) . 
16. He (she) isn’t interested in anything, he (she) doesn’t want anything. 

As a rule, this is followed by: “He or she comes home from school, does his or her homework, and sits in the computer. 

It is obvious that the person is interested in what happens on the computer and therefore interested in the same. Go there. If it bothers you so much, sign up for the same game and become a team. Well, or opponents. 

17. You can ignore the smell of cigarettes. You can ignore the fact that your kid came home drunk. You can make a huge scandal out of it all. You could try to ban it. You could… You could do anything. Take your pick. I talked and talked about where my first cigarette happened and how I found out what a hangover was. 

18. Putting order in a teenager’s room is impossible. And you don’t have to. 

19. You have the right to make tough decisions in all cases involving the safety of your child’s life on the simple grounds that you are legally responsible for their life and health until age 18. 

The “out of the contest” clause : 

Both you and your teenager always have the option to seek help from a psychologist. Do not deny yourself this. Sometimes we parents just need support, and teenagers need it (support) vitally.