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You are here : home > Teen Issues > Teen Issues Related Articles > Don't Embarrass Your Teenager

Don't Embarrass Your Teenager

Adolescence can be a turbulent phase for your child who is going through a rollercoaster ride of emotions and experiences. Your love and support will help him through this difficult time.

The Importance of Affection

Everybody needs affection. This is especially true for your teenager, even if he appears to dislike your genuine expressions of love. Research shows that children who receive lots of love and affection grow up to become well-adjusted adults. A hug or a smile can really help when your child has had a bad day, even when he is not ready to discuss his issues with you. The trick is to balance your duties as a parent and his aspirations as an individual.

How teenagers can be difficult at times

Your teenager may show one or more of the following symptoms, typical of his age:

  • He appears to be indifferent and uncaring.

  • He acts as if he does not need you, and demands personal space.

  • He prefers doing things his own way and deliberately defies your orders.

  • He does not like to spend time with you or other family members, preferring to be with his friends instead.

  • He wants to impress his friends by acting like an adult, sometimes adopting risky behaviour such as smoking and drinking.

  • He goes through several mood swings ranging from depression to anger.

Things Parents Should Avoid

Your teenager may often be embarrassed by your "nurturing" attitude in public. Here are some points you should keep in mind:

  • Do not treat him like a child and "talk down." He is now trying to be an adult and demands to be treated as such. Using baby language or treating him like a baby will only embarrass him.

  • Reserve pet names only for the home. No matter how adorable it sounds to you, calling him by his pet name is likely to amuse his friends and irk him, as they may tease him about it.

  • Avoid cuddling, kissing, or hugging in front of his friends. He has a reputation to protect, and he feels displaying physical affection, such as holding hands, will dent it.

  • Avoid teasing him, asking him embarrassing questions, or revealing any habits he views as embarrassing in front of his friends or relatives.

  • Avoid using harsh disciplinary methods. It is normal for your teenager to assert his freedom now. Teenagers have little respect for authority, so using a dictatorial approach will only alienate them further.

Bond with Your Teenager

Teenagers are, after all, children, and do make mistakes. Your duty is to provide a strong emotional support system to your child and timely guidance when he needs it the most. Here are some strategies to help you do that.

  • Be there when he needs you: Long periods of parents' absence can make your child feel unloved or unwanted. If you are away too often, be accessible to your children via phone, email, or any other means of communication.

  • Stay involved: Ask your child about his studies, sports, other activities, and friends. Get to know his friends and encourage them to spend time at your home. Let him know that you are interested in his life. Listen patiently without passing judgement when your child talks. Offer him guidance when he needs it and asks for it but do not overdo it. The idea is to help him find his own solutions.

  • Respect him as an individual: Too often, parents fail to see that their child has grown up to be a self-respecting individual. Involve him in making decisions even if it something as small as deciding on the movie at the weekend. Ask for his opinion on household matters. If you have to turn down his decisions or opinions, then offer constructive feedback on why another option is more suitable, without discouraging him.

  • Set rules: Be firm and consistent about your expectations from your teenager without resorting to harsh methods. Explain how the rules are for his good. Let him know you care for him.

  • Plan activities for your family: Family get-togethers can be a great opportunity to bond with your son. However, choose an activity or a hobby that your child enjoys. For example, he may not enjoy the trip to the zoo anymore and may probably prefer watching a cricket match or the latest movie in town.

  • Display your affection: Though your son does not seem to like those hugs and kisses, he still wants a constant reassurance that you love him. A simple pat on the back for a job well done or an occasional hug is necessary. Kiss him on top of the head instead of his cheeks. Say "I love you" softly in his ears just before he goes to sleep.

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Sumedha.9 years ago
i am a mother of teenager, my son is having lots of problem with me. he never listen to me and always do the oppisite what i say him to do... i am really worried mother, what to do don't know ???
Shubendu.9 years ago
i agree. as a kid, i was very fat and was always teased because of that and my pet name. i hated my pet name then. it is very horrid to be a child and be taunted all the time by your friends.
Kabir.9 years ago
loved the bit about loving your children despite their apparent non-response. that is so true. my grandma used to always say that the mischievous and good kids always get the attention; it is always the quiet ones that do not get enough. our teenagers are like the third category and we should love them, response or no response.
Richa.9 years ago
nice article
Subo.9 years ago
article is good but not relevant to indian families i feel - we don't enjoy intimacy on that's best to allow equal distance for all i feeel
Lovely.9 years ago
myself having fat child but is very difficult for him to slim down so sometimes i have to tease him to get him to exercise. is this wrong?
Akanksha.9 years ago
thanks a lot fro this article it makes a lot of sense!!!!
janice.9 years ago
we have only 1 child whom is 16. she is now going more with her friends. she want go to church with us, but will quickly go with her friends and their family. i'm sad. we have a lovely home, but she seems to want to go to their house rather than ours. what are we doing wrong?
jane.9 years ago
i have a daughter who are 15 yrs old .she loves to talk rude to me even i told her not to do so.
in school everyone say that she is very good but at home she totally diferent
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