Becoming a parent is one of the most challenging but rewarding things you can do in your life. When that baby arrives, you are overwhelmed with love for them.
You watch them grow out of that newborn phase, learn to eat, talk and walk.
You are there to hold their hand through those first days of school, to watch the nativity play and to be proud of them at every parents evening.
Then they become a teenager, and you feel like they need you less and less, and then the worry is heightened.
These days there can be so many things you can worry about when it comes to your teenagers, but is it possible to turn some of them into positives? Here are some examples.
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The rise in social media
Social media is something that has become a big part of our lives. After all, a good 70% of people with Facebook profiles check their feeds at least twice a day. So as it has become such a big part of normal life, your teenagers are only going to be more curious about it. As friends begin to appear on profiles, they may want to have their own.
As a parent, you have to decide if this is something you want them exposed to. You may worry about online bullying, and also whether it could affect their self-esteem but there can be some positive effects of social media in their lives. Creativity, inspiration and education to name a few.
Policing it may help you feel more at ease as well as ensuring that the privacy settings are set right and also that you have the right software to track and monitor their phones. This can help to give you extra peace of mind.
Many teenagers are glued to new games, and with the rise of the console and handheld device, games like Fortnite have taken over. It can be worrying as a parent, as you can fear they are having too much screen time, and are less likely to socialise and communicate with others in public.
However, as long as they are not on it all the time, gaming has been proven to be a stress reliever and also a great way to work on concentration skills and their focus.
Giving in to peer pressure
There will always be peer pressure, won’t there? The pressure to conform to the popular group or to feel less like an outsider. This could be to do with drinking, smoking and drugs.
The only thing you can do as a parent is to educate and leave the topics of conversation open so that your child can feel able to discuss and approach you about all possible ways they may feel pressured to try or do different things. You can’t shelter them, but you can educate.
Stress over exams
Finally, it seems that so much is done through tests and exams these days that many teenagers are buckling under the extra pressure.
Exams can be stressful, and if you find that your child is struggling then try and relieve the stress in different ways. Help with revision, encourage new ways to de-stress and also talk and be open to topics of conversation.
You may find that you can help them more than you realise. Feeling the stress can help you see that this is a positive situation as it shows they care about what they are doing with their future. There isn’t much more you can ask for.
Sometimes turning negative situations into positives ones can help everyone involve handle them differently.
What fears have come up for you as a parent? And which stage of their development was scariest for you? Was it the early years or the teen years?