When you hear the words "teenagers" or "adolescents", what other terms come to your mind? "Rebellious," "secretive," "moody" or "self-centred"? Almost anything written about adolescents is likely to include these words.
But are these really fair descriptions of the typical teenager? Do they spell trouble for teens and their families? Not necessarily. There have been many studies done on teens and their families. To a very large extent the research shows that many parents never encounter serious conflicts with their adolescent children. Studies show that parents can live peacefully with their teens by keeping communication open and positive and by encouraging their teens to become independent while maintaining reasonable rules. Growing a "thick skin" for the duration can certainly help too.
"Teenager" is a loaded word and adolescents are victims of that label. Adolescents are not a separate species, after all, but human beings just like their parents.
They too must cope with the day-to-day problems of living in a complex and changing world.
Why are Teenagers So... Difficult?
Teenagers seem to do the most outrageous things, but it is all part of growing up. Some so-called negative behaviour is considered normal for teenagers as their ideas about the world develop.
Rebelliousness: In many ways teens tell parents "I am not you, I am me and here is how I'll show you!" Outlandish hair styles and clothing, messy rooms, listening to loud and "vulgar" music, or sleeping late are some common ways teens assert their individuality. You can choose to see this kind of behaviour as defiance of authority or as a display of integrity.
It is important for parents to remember that in rebelling, teens are fulfilling an important psychological need. Annoying as some of their tastes and habits might be, it helps to realize that things...