Struggle in Parenting Modern Teens : If you are raising teens, chances are you are trying your best to relate to their antics. They are a millennial generation or Generation Y.
There were born roughly between the 80s to early 20s. These youngsters are more expressive and liberated with their ideas and opinions. These are usually an issue to older people.
They create trends and follow them and make use of the available technology. They took every possible selfie and post everything on Facebook. They tweet their feelings out and join various online debates and discussions. They are always on the lookout for “instagrammable” or IG-worthy views and happenings.
Parenting Modern Teens
They are the very first generation that grown up preoccupied with digital technology. It shaped their reputation and identity.
Most of the time, their lives revolve around creating strong captions, getting “Likes”, “comments” and “shares”. The parentals, as what they call their parents now, mostly find it difficult to relate and understand them. Are you one of them? I know some moms and dads who are struggling with what the internet calls “the worst generation”.
The Portrayal of Modern Teenagers
Although it is somewhat unfair, millennials are accused of being narcissists, selfish, noisy, lazy and coddled. Older generations refer them as people who cannot function properly without their smartphones and live in relentless adolescence.
Millennials also tend to whine about almost everything, from the clothes they wear to their celebrity idols to the foods they eat. Even Time Magazine tagged them as the Generation Me since they are self-obsessed.
Perhaps, it could be troubling for parents like us to engage with and understand the modern kids we have now. The thought of dealing with a snarky middle school and a high school kid at home makes me cringe a little (just think of it as our payback time moms!)
Teenagers nowadays are facing multitude challenges that I believe are more complicated compared to those faced by older generations. You see, they have an overwhelming amount of choices to almost every possible things we can think of.
They face pressures from peers, school, at home and from the whole society. The possibilities are endless and so are the consequences.
It is as if they have to be one step ahead of the others, follow life’s demands while finding their unique self.
Indeed, this is a different day and age when our children know more than us parents, in terms of computer and internet. Cyber bullying is rampant, rant posts are frequent and hate tweets are “normal”.
In a nutshell, millennials developed unpleasant reputations: being headstrong, impatient, self-entitled and do not acquire the sense of commitment. Older people keep on painting the picture of a “typical millennial” this way.
Millennials could be a lot of things. Despite them being self-involved, this generation is also marked as creative, open-minded, more concern for the environment, flexible and has a strong sense of social responsibility. Like other generations, they too, exhibit unique traits which make them different from the others.
How we can Manage
No matter how hard-headed they have become, we are sure to adore our teenage kids. The rise of modern technology leads them to become part of an always-on society. Hence, we can say that it has something to do with failed parenting strategies, isn’t it?
Sometimes, I can’t help but get sad because of such negative self-image compared to other generations because I am a millennial parent too. Aren’t some people too quick to judge and tend to stereotype an entire generation?
The list of the millennial characteristics goes on and it is our duty as a parent to balance out such general perception.
As parents, we need to step back and take a better look at the picture. It is always easy to generalize that this generation shares the same sentiments, goals, issues and ideas in life. Some people got close to the scrutiny that millennials are hopeless individuals and that their parents are one factor to blame for.
Adults like us should recognize that this generation is same as with any other generation: they are young at the moment. They need our support and understanding so they can gain necessary life lessons and experience. We might be busy facing adulthood that we forgot our kids are growing up too. Fast.
They Still Need Guidance
Although it seems like they are too confident and self-absorbed, your modern teenagers still need your advice and guidance.
Remember that you were once in this interesting phase of life called teenage years when you start to exercise self-choice and free will. It would help to guide them through it by giving them the chance to be vocal with their desires and interests.
One characteristic of most millennials is their need to be heard. Not just for the sake of hearing them, they prefer that their ideas work and have meaningful contributions. It is paramount that you include them in decision making or that you engage them in things that they desire.
Technology is important to them! Your teenage kids grew up with smartphones, gadgets, and internet. You can see how well connected they are with the world and it speaks of their own language. Hence, they effectively work as a team.
You will be surprised how even the most dispassionate child can demonstrate interest once they saw how kids their age are into. Millennials or not, teenagers are skeptical and curious. They prefer to improvise solutions on their own.
I still strongly believe in the power of communication and fortunately, modern teens are open to it hence, the creation of various social media sites. As a parent, you can still introduce to them the house rules, the do’s and don’t’s and come up with a sound agreement.
We know that most of us are setting boundaries and keep on monitoring our kids especially when it comes to the internet. While it is good parenting, remember that you are dealing not only with a single child but with a whole generation of children that thrives on information, humor, and always are updated with the newest things.
Likewise, proper support from those around them is crucial. Their involvement breeds creativity and helps them achieve their potentials. Your teenager could be still doubtful or hesitant in his or her own talents and skills. It is time to guide them and get them motivated. Show them how you as a parent, get things done the right way.
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