Don’t Sell Your Adolescent the Myth About Independence

Bayo Ajibola

Teen Behavior

Teen Behavior:Growing up you would always look forward to being a grownup and moving out of your parents’ home. You would relish that moment because it opened up different opportunities for you. It meant that your life was moving to a different stage and even though fraught with responsibility, you couldn’t wait to get to it.

The difference between you (from an older generation) and the teenagers in this generation is your idea of independence. Older generations knew that once you moved out life began. You had to bear the brunt and pay the price of whatever lifestyle you wanted to live. It was simple and there was no going around it. You knew there are things that you would be able to do but couldn’t because the consequences were extreme and weren’t really worth it.

Fast forward to your teenager and they are moving into independence with a different set of expectations. Parents these days will keep their kids as occupied as possible and provide the best education, accommodation, healthcare and co-curricular activities that money can buy. While there is nothing wrong with this, parents can easily get carried away and forget to teach their children the value of running their own lives and the consequences of choices.

Teenage desires

A teenager in this age is allowed to express themselves, do what they think is right even if it goes against their parents’ wishes (don’t all teenagers?) but with minimal repercussions. There are very few limits set and so they grow up thinking that once they leave their parents’ home they’ll be able to do all that and more because nobody is watching them now. Many don’t do chores and even when they do they expect that there will be a reward for it. An adolescent will want to ‘run’ the home and expect that their opinion will be heard. Bills get paid (they don’t know how) and they enjoy these benefits. They want pay TV and now because these other channels are boring. Why won’t you buy them that new pair of jeans? It’s endless!

The problem comes in when they have to leave and embrace independence. If they want a big house they’ll have to make more money (unless you’ll be footing that bill) but getting a job with lots of money at that age is a dream that many don’t attain. Speaking their mind isn’t always welcome and doing what they please can somehow get them into trouble. They realize that they aren’t really free to be whoever they want in the ‘free world’. Fitting in may just have them making room for things they hadn’t planned for. They see that the only freedom they really have is how to deal with all the troubles coming their way.

Repercussions will set them straight

Teenagers can rebel and get away with it, can question authority, can focus on standing out from the crowd in the vainest of ways, can ignore and flout rules and can live life without worrying about being on their own. This is because parents act as a security blanket, support their every indulgence and keep them from adult responsibility. That can be detrimental because you are left with angry teenagers who probably feel that the world is unfair and against their progress.

Show your teenager what responsibility looks and feels like. Open their eyes to both the good and the bad and please teach them the value of work and things. Teach them to think for themselves and make the right decisions no matter what everyone else is doing. That way, they can actually survive all the blows that come their way and come out better instead of sinking under all the pressure. This is all about Teen Behavior


Is Your Teenager Really Trustworthy?

Bayo Ajibola

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