Every parent is familiar with the struggles of raising a child. It being difficult is a complete understatement. Parents are constantly on the lookout for the well-being of their kids.
Despite the constant difficulty of parenting, it seems to become more challenging as the kids reach adolescence. It is an incredibly complicated stage for a child to be in. And parents often struggle to deal with this transition phase of their child’s life.
Kids Can Feel Stressed, Too
It is widely known that parenting can be stressful. Taking care of kids has its fair share of challenges. But many forget that being a child can be stressful too.
Of course, this stress can be more highlighted as they become adolescents. This period in their lives is characterized by immense physical and mental changes. These changes can prompt them to feel stress as they progress into their teenage years.
Transitioning into adulthood is not necessarily a smooth-sailing ride for parents, either. But they need to be supportive and understanding during this time. Their kids are still under their care. And it is their responsibility to help their children deal with the stressful years of adolescence. But how do they exactly do this?
Empathy: A Key Factor
To start, parents need to learn how to be empathetic toward their kids. This is to put oneself in the other persons’ position. This helps them gain a clear understanding of what these kids are experiencing.
Being empathetic toward their kids can help them grasp the struggles that their teenage child is having. Of course, knowing the problem is the first step toward solving it. Being empathetic to their kids essentially helps them address the stressful emotions that their kids are going through.
Mitigating the Stress
Parents can never save their kids from feeling the stress of growing up. But they can choose to help them mitigate it. Once they learn how to empathize with their kids, they can identify several reasons they might feel stressed.
The Need for Belonging
Kids their age have this need to belong. They are still trying to explore themselves and the world around them. They want to be part of a group. Of course, not having this need met can be stressful to them.
With that, it can be typical of them to find a group of friends with the same interests. They can also often try to change something about themselves in an attempt to belong. This is rarely a bad thing.
Their need for belonging can expose them to plenty of good experiences. They can develop new interests, try new activities, and even attempt to change something about their appearance.
So long as it is not harmful to their children, parents should support these changes. For instance, kids in their teens can be conscious about their appearance. They may not like the way they smile. Parents can then consult orthodontic practitioners to help their kids.
They might also want to try a new fashion trend. Parents can then explore these trends with them. They can buy them clothes for self-expression. This attempt to change their appearance is their way of exploring their individuality. Others may also want to try a new hobby. Parents can then support their kids as they navigate their way through this new hobby. These parents should only ensure that their kids are out of harm’s way as they try to explore their world.
The Pressure of Achieving
Another common thing that graces the lives of adolescents is the pressure of excelling. Parents tend to put pressure on their kids to be the best at everything they do. Of course, parents want to see their kids succeed in life. But putting this unnecessary pressure on them may be counterproductive. This can make them unhappy. This can even affect the relationship between the child and the parents.
They should also learn how to accept that their child will fail sometimes. And that is okay. Everyone fails at something. But everyone also excels at something else. With that, parents should learn how to listen to their kids. They should be a guide that supports them in the things that they genuinely want to do. Parents should accept the decisions that their kids make for themselves.
This is essentially a step towards letting a child be independent. This can help them grow into a unique individual. Parents who put unnecessary pressure on their kids are hindering them from growing. Unnecessary pressure should be replaced with unconditional support.
Dealing with the Changes
As mentioned, this stage in life deals with many changes in their physical, social, and mental state. Kids may not know how to adjust to these changes. This inability to comprehend the changes can cause some stress. This is where the presence and guidance of parents should come in. These changes are never easy to deal with. But parents and adult caretakers have most likely been through them. And they can help their kids navigate through these changes.
This can help kids understand more about the changes that are happening in their lives. They have better knowledge on how to navigate many differences that adolescence has brought upon them. And they can gain this knowledge through their parents.
Parents may need to exert more effort to guide their kids as they transition into young adults. It will never be easy. But they should only ensure that they become rational, well-rounded, and happy people in the future.