Children have always been dependent on us in many countless ways in their entire life. In every step they take, we are always there to tell them the right thing to do. As for our side, we just want our children to grow into proper individuals.
Because of our huge influence on our children, they can’t help long for that sense of freedom to do what they want without anyone stopping them. Once our kids enjoy that appealing feeling of being free, they will know how terrifying it would be to give that up.
When our children tend to do foolish things, break the rules, avoid giving straight answers, start to disrespect us, we often believe the reason for it is media influence, peer pressure, and rebellion. There may be times when the cause of such doing is rebellion, however, if you can sense that your child is struggling for a taste of freedom, we cannot hinder such desire.
The main point here is that teens do erratic behaviors because it’s all about doing what they want. Even though adults exert parental or peer pressure, the desire for freedom takes over because innate desire often wins.
What we can do is to guide and lead them in ways that are healthy for them instead of hinder them. Through our guidance, they may be able to learn the value of being responsible and accountable for their actions.
Stupid Things Doesn’t Feel Like Stupid At All
Freedom is a fleeting thing for most teenagers nowadays. Once they attain even the slightest feel of what they perceive as freedom, they somehow become addicted to it. Addicted in a sense that they are not thinking clearly.
Often, teenagers do stupid things like becoming sexually active, getting too drunk, driving too fast in the rain, risking too much and making impulsive decisions. During the adolescent stage, the frontal lobe of the brain doesn't fully develop yet; such area of the brain controls impulses and allows judgment of consequences.
With the absence of such fully functioning frontal lobe, teenagers rely more on the centers that control emotion. It results in the fact that teens give in more easily to their impulses.
The Fear of Losing Freedom
Teenagers, who felt what freedom is like, have that sense of fear that we will forever take it away from them. Most teens think that parents keep their liberty away without any real reason or no consideration whatsoever.
Often teenagers are overly sensitive to any mention of restrictions when there is a threat to their freedom. They think that their social life is over. Once you place parental restrictions to them, they find ways to sneak out. For them, it is social suicide if they put through with such restrictions for so long.
The Hiding Game
Pushed by the desire for freedom and the fear of losing it, teenagers who are trustworthy and obedient sometimes indulge into bad things. Teens fool and rationalize themselves into thinking they weren’t doing anything wrong, lie to us, and most commonly, hide things from us to keep us from taking their freedom away.
The core reason why teenagers result to intentional deception is to protect their freedom.
What Must A Parent Do? Guidance Is The Key
Despite all the mistakes our children have done, we cannot deny the fact that we also make errors on our part. Our intention of guarding and protecting them from harm may be the same thing that causes them to be more prone to hurt.
No matter how hard it is for us to let them somehow decide on some things, it is the first step in helping them become the best person they can be. Getting up from the bed and realizing that our children are growing into adults, we as parents also need to understand that they shouldn't forever be dependent on us.
So as not to make them feel that we are trying to hinder them from having freedom or ruining their social life, parents must be able to guide them through the path they prefer to choose thoroughly. It should not be dictating them what to do or how to do it, but it is showing them the way and making them understand the consequences of their actions.
We need to help them want to do the right things and not the wrong ones. Let them understand that having freedom comes with great responsibility. Moreover, help your teenagers learn to think through their decisions and assist them to see where they might have been wrong.
For example, you may loosen up a bit and let your kid venture on new things. If your child wants to go to other places and see things through, then permit him or her, as long as you set a clear boundary. Letting your kid see new places and other things to help them develop and widen their views in life.
Traveling is one of the ways to see things through. Meeting new people, staying in camps, using a sleeping bag as a bed, hiking, and seeing different marvelous sights are few of the things your teenagers should experience.
Through traveling, your teen can gain experience and develop responsibility. Though it may sound risky, however, as long as you know what he or she is entering into then it’d be a good start.
As parents, we have the responsibility to look for our children and to make sure they grow to become proper and mature adults who are ready to face any challenges life has to offer. Our path as parents is a hard way since there are times we make mistakes on how we deal with our children.
However, parenting is a lifelong journey. It is a constant learning and imparting process. Your kid learns from you, and you learn from them. There may be times when your child will show bad behavior due to their desire to gain or maintain their freedom. We must not see it as a problem or a struggle as a parent, but an opportunity to guide and help them become responsible and mature adults.
Moreover, to help them lead a life with value and character and become responsible and accountable for their actions, as parents, we can start by being a model or a living example of the life we want our children to live.
Rachel Minahan was born in the digital age and took interior designing in college. She loves watching how upholstery is done and every single detail of carving when it comes to vanity mirrors and wooden frames for kids single beds. During her leisure times, she often visits websites that feature some stylish designs of furniture. As a matter of fact, due to her fascination to furniture, she even writes them into articles and posts it online as writing has also been her first love.