Dealing with a teenage son or a daughter is probably the worst nightmare of every parent. Boys at that age are no less fragile than the girls are. And it’s the duty of the parents to make sure that they are not going astray while trying to disentangle the newly faced complications and emotions of life- ecstasy, envy, embarrassment, anger, love, sensation, agony, ambition and what not. Why these happen? I guess we all know but sometimes we wish you (the parents) did too.
I know about these because I’m a sister of my teenage brother. I have successfully come across my teenage life since a year and a half. I remember when I was 19, I told my brother on his 13th birthday, “Right now the point of life where we are standing is like a tunnel; a tunnel having both an entrance and an exit. I’m standing at the exit, where the tunnel has come to an end; and the point where you are standing is where it all begins. This tunnel is the teenage life which took me 7 years to come across. And now it’s your turn to take the ride and come through it. Don’t be scared brother, though the tunnel seems too dark, I’ll be standing at the exit for you to guide you through the darkness”.
He didn’t seem to understand me then. But I knew exactly what had said to him and held on to it as a promise to myself to refer to soon enough. I knew I had to tell him all these because I have been in the same state once and I desperately needed someone to stand by me and understand why I’m doing whatever I’m doing. I lacked confidence in me and needed someone to boost me against the odds. Luckily, in my time, my parents were waiting for me to hold my hand at the exit while I was coming across my tunnel.
Now when my brother is 15 and me being 21, I see him going through the same conditions that I had. He seems to totally understand my words now which I said to him on his 13th birthday. His sudden change in behavior doesn’t shock me at all. I don’t find it hard to accept like my parents when he thinks T-shirts with cartoon characters are no more cool!
I don’t find it hard to accept either when he feels like surfing through the other channels too on TV rather than sticking to Cartoon Network only. And honestly, I will not roll my eyes in disbelief when he suddenly wants to hang a guitar on his bedroom and paint the walls in dark colors. Later, may be just spraying a few words around like, ‘Metallica Rockz’ or any self-made motto like, ‘Freedom is what life’s all about!’ etc.
It’s perfectly alright with me if he doesn’t want to go to the market with me even though he just seemed so excited about it. I won’t be mad at him if he wants to knock off all the books from his bookshelf and reassemble it with PS2 and Xbox CDs instead. I won’t be mad even if he just turns on his stereo loud and feels comfortable to close the door of his room and lip-sync along the lyrics (let alone the thought of how uncomfortable the other members of the family are).
I find it pretty funny when my mom gets into an argument with my brother often these days. And if this is a similar situation in your home too, than all I want to say to the parents is, “Come on guys! This is just a temporary condition that he is in. it won’t be long when he will realize whatever he’s been doing all these time was nothing but a quest to find his inner self by putting himself through different experiments. And once he comes to know who he is and what his real mottos in life are, those ripped jeans will get sewed back; those canvas-like walls of his room will be turned into elegant blue or green; surfing through 100 TV channels in an hour will seem like a crazy idea; listening to slow and romantic songs on a low volume will not sound so bad after all rather than listening to ‘Eminem’ and ‘50-cent’ out loud; T-shirts with silly and meaningless slogans (especially the one which was hard for you to tolerate that read, ‘I’m your Daddy’) might roll into shirts with full sleeves and finally your teen rock star posing like a punk guitarist might want to try out some tunes on his guitar which will make him want to feel sober”.
So, it’s all about the time that takes him/her to come through the tunnel. If the teen wants some time to himself/herself and act unruly, give him/her all the time they need. Because they are not being inhumane or unaware of your feelings for them; they are just trying to be what you eventually want them to be, ‘Young matured adults’.