There comes an age in every human being’s life when they feel they are being subjected to unwarranted pressure of societal norms and parental expectations. That age when the body starts undergoing changes of such nature that it often leads to confusion and commotion especially when the mind is not strong. The Great souls have given us a foolproof way to fight these changes and thoughts, and that is by having faith in God. However, in this age, where faith has been replaced by the lure of money and greed, it is hard to make teenagers believe in what their parents themselves fail to believe.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
Although they might not show it, but teens need lot of love and support from parents and elders in the family. With growing stress on self-dependency and infusing ambitions from a young age, teenagers these days are prone to believing that family values and ties are a threat to their freedom. How far this is true depends on the kind of environment they dwell.
Teenagers, if given love and support, in the initial years, will never derail them during the later years. Every day ordinary activities are all you need to keep a healthy relationship with your teenage child. The central theme of one of my books ‘When Strangers Meet..‘ was Parent-Teenagers spoilt relationship. How far teenagers could go to rebel against their parents and how far certain parents can go to satisfy their egoes is what the book talks about, which is loosely based on my life and lives of others whom I knew personally.
A Personal Note
When I was 18, my father would often claim that he has become less important to me. He would scold me for being indifferent to my parents and duties. However, that was not the case. That was the time, when I wished my family supported me the most. Of course, they supported me financially. In fact, they did their best, and I am always thankful to them. However, in that race against time, to earn money for themselves and for me, they forgot that it is their attention and care that I needed most at that age.
This is where many of the parents fail their teenage sons and daughters. Especially fathers, who often think that pocket money would define their love for their children.
“For the love of money is a root of allkinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
Where are you going wrong?
Instead of giving them love and care, which is the true nature of God, you are giving them money instilling greed and bribery. Their idols and spiritual quotient is replaced by shining currency notes and their virtue is nothing but driven by greed. This is the reason why teenagers when they become adults, go in pursuit of careers that earn them great deal of money. They would leave their parents to live alone to faraway lands. Initially the parents feel proud about their children’s achievements, however, most of them never return, leaving them heartbroken during their final years on earth.
What changed from infancy to adolescence? Apart from the changes in their body, from tiny little fingers to flat chested youngsters, what changed their minds? Fathers and sons are best friends in the beginning, what transforms this relationship into bitter rivalry? What forces young minds to develop a perception that their parents are their biggest enemies; hindrances to their freedom and life?
Back in 2009, when I was in 12th grade, I could not stand my father. I would get irritated when he is in the same room as me. Nobody had come to me and told me that my father is my enemy.
Then how did I turn my face away from my father as a teenager?
It is true that family bonds go through changes (some unwanted) during teenage years. When I was a baby, my parent’s role was to nurture me and guide me. As I grew up, the nurturing part had to come down, so that I could be independent when the time was right, however, the guidance should not stop. Parents are the best guides and if a teenager is able to see this in the beginning, then he does not have to go to other people when he or she is deadfaced! As a parent, you must be able to create this confidence in your child at an early age itself. And when the child becomes a teenager and slowly he starts thinking that he is becoming your equal, he will see that very necessary friend in you.
Families see ups and downs during teenage years, but the thing that could keep them together is trust and faith in each other. Such a faith can come if you have faith in a higher power. The higher power, may not necessarily be a God with a form, but could be the humanist values that keep family values strong.
Give them these humanist values right from the beginning. You must yourself believe in those values before passing it on. Instead of giving them money as bribe to do something that they do not want to do, give them a good book to read, healthy food to eat.
Love is Key for Teenagers
For those of you who have grown teenagers, it is not too late! Your teenage child might seem to be moody or unsynchronous with the world, but it only means that they need you more than ever before. Instead of shouting at them, give them hope for their future, show you have faith in them and most importantly give abundant love, and make them believe with confidence that you are indeed there for them!
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
And rightly so, the love that you will give your child at this age is what you shall receive when you will need those the most. God’s greatest gift to mankind is Love…History is proof- Love has conquered the greatest atrocities, love has blossomed this beautiful world of ours. Then why should we hide or put away our love for our children? They are young, they need our guidance and it is our duty to guide them… just like the Great Shepherd who guides us all…
Just imagine, what would happen the day God decides not to take care of us? How abandoned would we feel no matter how much we deny believing in God?
So, when God doesn’t let go off His children, He only gives them love… then you should do the same for your children… Give them Love, guide them righteously and help them have faith in you… and in your beliefs.