Practical Parenting: What Is Your Teenager Worrying About?
By Donovan Grant
Mum and dad, you are the experts in your own child. You do everything in your power to raise a happy, safe and bright child and then out of the blue you get a sense that something is not right. When that inner voice tells you something is you want to help, but with teenagers you may choose to give them some room.
You are not alone.
I have experienced this with both of my daughters. To be honest with teenager worries, you have to deal with them on a case by case basis. ”Some of you may say what do teenagers have to worry about? If only they knew what it was like to be an adult!”
Well, my friend you were a teen once and you can probably remember the changes you went through, the demands placed on you and the expectations you had to live up to. It wasn’t easy for you either.
Do you ever catch yourself asking “are other teenagers as grumpy as mine?”
Its ok you can be honest, no one is watching.
Hey guys, it’s quite normal to feel that way sometimes. Would be helpful for you to know what a ton of teenagers worry about? We’ve put together a list of 10 of the top things teenagers say concerns them.
Maybe when you read the list you’ll tick quite a few off and then have a big sigh “ahhhhhhhhhhh!” Why would you sigh? Well maybe it will be comforting to think “oh my son’s just being a normal teenager”. Or maybe having the list will give you a reference to use in any discussions with your son or daughter.
Here are 10 of the top fears of our children:
Having good friends
Fear of abuse or violence
Being forced into sexual encounters
What other people think of them
Not getting good exam grades
Not enough time for fun
Disagreements in the family
What their future holds
Not having enough money to spend
Letting their parents down.
So there you have it. Did you recognise some of the list?
Here’s a secret that you may not know… many times children will become the worrying type only if they see their parents worrying. What? Yes, this is a known FACT!
The question is to ask yourself is “do I worry a lot in front of the children?”
Let’s be fair here, it is not easy being a parent right now. So we all worry from time to time. The problem only arises when we do it more than necessary. It true that, we’ve all got different circumstances, but what we care about most is the development of the child. Can we look our child in the eyes and ask them ‘what are you worrying about’ when we are 24 x 7 worriers too? You and I both know that wouldn’t work. We have to work on ourselves first.
What could we do to help ease the worries?
Regular communication with our children is one of the best avenues for us to help to lead them.
We need to open up a dialogue and find out what is their concern
Work out if the problem can be resolved
Try to tease out the root cause
Figure out a joint strategy to fix it
Encourage them to take action today!
Just by talking through challenges with our teenagers will help to ease the worries. However, it’s important to only go there if you are welcomed. If you are told to “back off” then you may well advised to do so until you can try another approach. Remember, you’re trying to build bridges for your child and not burn them.
A message that we should all share with our children is not to run away from our worries because they will come after you. Teach them that this is a part of growing up, just like our bones and muscles get bigger – the ‘problems’ that come our way get bigger too.
If you have any similar stories it may also be useful to share the worries you had and how you overcame them.
Each occasion that we take time out to help our children grow through their challenges; it helps them to become stronger, more spirited and happier young people!
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com