Raising kids can sometimes be a tough process.
It is like an preparing for an exam without knowing the syllabus. On the flipside, the teenage years are practically the foundation of our lives ahead. With the right guidance, teenagers can be on the right track in life.
When it comes to Indian parents, it is a different ecosystem at home. A communication gap is one of the biggest issues facing parents and their kids, since generations. With a much more explicit social media environment, parents need to step up their game and be on par with what children are exposed to. No amount of shielding can save the child from the flood of information available in today’s day and age.
Here are a few facts that every Indian parent needs to tell their teenage child about today:
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Probably the most important fact that needs to be drilled into the head of teenagers. Parent’s are not an ATM and like Indian parents say, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees”. Teenagers need to figure this out. Throwing tantrums, wanting certain things due to peer-pressure all have a cost attached. Maintain an effort-reward system, so that they earn their reward. The idea of earning money will stay with them forever.
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Teenagers, these days, are being consumed by more and more western ideas. Being inspired by other cultures and traditions is perfectly okay. But at the same, it is crucial to not break their links with their own roots. Their individuality is more important than merely aping western culture, Then, of course, it is a personal choice.
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It is time, parents actively discuss with their kids about harmful effects of abuse of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. There is probably a time for alcohol, but it’s not now. Teenage is a rebellious age, where the moment parents set up restrictions and rules about certain things, their kids most probably are going to break them. Might as well, discuss the issue.
We’ve all been there. Indian parents need to advise their teenage kids about teenage love and baggage it carries. Often, teenage romances don’t carry forward. It is up to the parents to allow their kids to fall and learn and counsel them that life doesn’t end there.
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Teenagers need to be reassured that they can always rely on their parents when in doubt. No matter what problems they have, they can always find supports in family and friends. After all, even heroes need help.
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Teenagers need to get over the fear and stigma of failing classes, examinations or projects. Failure is life’s best tutor. Students suicides is a serious issue and it's time the issue is addressed. Parents often try to pressurize their kids into performing well constantly either due to societal pressure or personal aspirations. Everyone has a different pace of growth as a person, and everybody figures out life eventually. It is perfectly normal to not succeed or not know what to do with life at some stage.
Slowly, we see things changing as awareness is raised about teenage issues and more parents are proactively opening up in front of their teenage children, often counseling them about life.