Category Archives: Parenting

Help! I am the parent of a Teenager!

Get parents to talk about their teenage kids and all you hear is a barrage of complaints. That is exactly what happened at the start of the workshop for parents of teenagers that was held on Sunday.

“They get so angry all the time.” “They just don’t like being told what to do.” “We have to force them to come for a family get together, but the minute a friend calls, they are ready to go out.”

I’m sure all you parents of teenagers out there, can relate to this. But tell me, isn’t there anything you enjoy about your kids when they are in their teens? What is it that you love about the fact that your kid is now an adolescent?

When I asked the parents at the workshop to list down the joys of being a parent of a teenager, they looked at me as if I was crazy. But when I insisted, they started discussing this and a surprisingly long list emerged.

While undoubtedly they were worried about the fact that their children might not be able to say no to peer pressure and that they might be tempted do things they shouldn’t do, or the fact that the kids do not communicate at all, they also realised that their children are now more their friends than their children.

As your kids grow into their teens, they will challenge you to be your best. They criticise and question you so that you have no choice but to keep up with them. They are so idealistic and have great plans to improve the world. Their innocent faith that they will be able to do this is endearing.

Though they may be very moody and irritable, yet they will think nothing of enveloping you in a spontaneous bear hug of affection “just like that”.

As we spoke, we realised how important it is at this stage of our children’s lives, more than ever to be their friends, to accept them for who they are, to be there for them, yet let them walk on their own. We need to allow them to make mistakes, and teach them how to learn from those mistakes. We need to do what schools will not do : teach them how to face life, how to develop skills that will help them grow into happy adults, adults who are capable of facing problems in a proactive way, adults who are solution seekers rather than grumblers and excuse finders. Most of all, we need to teach them to love themselves, to give them the assurance that they do not need to be like anyone else. They are special to us, just the way they are.

Being a positive influence in your child’s life and getting joy out of raising children can always be an acquired skill. But a lot of us don’t think so. Or do we? What do you think?

Are you growing up with your child? Or are you getting left behind?

Just the other day, a close friend of mine called up. “Sunita,” she  said  hesitantly, “ I want to talk to you about my son, Rohit. He has suddenly changed so much. I don’t know what to do.”  I calmed her down and told her this is something I often hear from parents of adolescents

It is not easy being a parent. And the challenge is much more when our babies turn into teenagers. It seems just yesterday they were holding your hand and learning to walk, and now it seems as if they are challenging every word you say.

You hear things like , “Why do you want me to make my bed? I’ll just sleep in it again tonight.” “MOM! Please don’t embarrass me!”

Your little baby girl is suddenly more interested in chatting with her friends and worrying about nonexistent pimples on her face. Your son is more interested in his friends’ opinion than yours. And don’t talk about mood swings. One day they do not want to talk to you at all and the next they want to tell you every single thing that is happening in their lives.  If you hug them, you will be pushed away and the very next day you will be engulfed in the biggest bear hug in the world.

Yes, being a parent is tough and in today’s environment it is even worse. As parents we are not only responsible to see that our kids grow up with the right values, but we also need to equip them with  the skills that will help them withstand negative influences and keep them safe.

In such a scenario, maybe it is a good idea to learn from the experts as well. People who have been parents, who have been teachers and who have been teachers to parents. That is why, through practise with my own daughters, through a lot of reading, through courses, I have learnt a lot and over a lot of years, what it takes to be a good parent. I have realised through the years that parents of teenagers face some unique challenges.

That is how and why I created my Teenology course. Ping me here or on 9892939062/ 8080825785 to know more about it. You can send me a mail on sunita@shikshapower.com as well. https://www.facebook.com/events/531112666958273/

Letting You Fly

We reached the garden. You saw the gigantic metal giraffe painted in red and yellow and green. Colours designed to attract every little soul who entered the garden. Without warning you left my hand and ran to the giraffe. Before I realised, your feet were on the first rungs of the bars that made it up. And you started climbing. I don’t really know how tall that thing was. But to my fear numbed brain, it seemed at least 10 feet high. And there you were… a tiny little thing, just past your second birthday, trying to climb up as fast as you could.

I wanted to shout and call you back down, when I caught your father’s eye and he just shook his head to stop me. I understood what he meant. We had made a pact that we would never stop you from exploring, from learning by doing. We had promised ourselves that we would give you the freedom to grow, to fly, to touch the sky. And now that it seemed that you were actually trying to reach for the sky, I could only stand there paralysed with fear, watching you as you climbed higher and higher. And as you reached higher, all that I could think of was that it was a longer way to fall. I had visions of broken bones and worse.

Dad in the meantime positioned himself beneath the monster, encouraging you and telling you where to place your feet. His presence there gave you the confidence to go right to the very top, secure in the knowledge that Daddy was there to catch you if you fell. You finally reached the top and squealed with delighted laughter. I could not help but laugh with you, as tears streamed down my face.

You climbed back down with Dad guiding you and the minute you reached the ground, I swooped you up into a hug that hid all my anxiety. And then so sweetly and innocently you asked me, “Mamma, why are you crying?” I answered you with what I now realise was the truth, “Because I am so proud of you.”