Teenagers are the most misunderstood people on the planet. The teenage years are some of the loneliest, and almost every teenager has a high-pitched complaint that no one ever really understands them. These are also the most “impressionable years” and form the foundation for an individual’s entire life. A life that sometimes turns out picturesque and at other times a total tragedy.
Sometimes young people bear the brunt of families falling apart. They are also helpless witnesses to the unfolding drama in the “adult world.” It takes a very determined young person to come out unscathed after living in a volatile environment. While I write this, truth be told, my heart goes out to the millions of young people who are trying to make sense of the craziness that we call reality desperately. Life has changed, and how!!! This almost maniacal obsession with keeping up with the latest trends, seeking impossible beauty standards, and the urge to fit in occupy a young person’s mind 24/7.
After all, if one doesn’t fit in, they are perceived as an outlier, and which young person in their right mind can accept this harsh fate? Parents would be willing to cross hell or high water to make their children the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. This unbearable pressure from family and society sometimes drives young people to shut themselves inside. The Japanese call it “hikikomori,” a recluse shut off from society, refusing to partake in anything that the world offers. Some are driven to desperation and, in a fit of teenage fury, take their own lives or choose to live life wantonly, all of which have disastrous consequences.
The problems that teenagers grapple with in today’s day and age are too many to number. The list could go on and on, from body image issues to underage sex to bullying and cyber addiction.
Here are some of the strategies and steps that can be taken to mitigate or counteract this tumultuous phase:
Identifying the Change– Being conscious of changes in sleeping patterns, eating habits, and communication can be a huge giveaway. Sometimes, parents or counselors fail to notice subtle shifts in behavior and might account for any hormones or other issues discrepancies. Taking note of minor things can sometimes save everyone a world of worry. Children who receive early help in counseling or guidance inevitably gravitate toward the right path.
Understanding– Someone accurately termed the word “troubled teens,” It couldn’t be more accurate. In essence, an individual goes through conflicting emotions in rapid succession. From anger to jealousy to impulsive actions. You get the picture. You would think someone would need the patience of a saint” to deal with a teenager. In my personal coaching experience, I had witnessed troubled and manipulative teens who always got their way with their mothers’ because she was afraid of losing them if they didn’t comply. Such love can be toxic and can make a child dependent for life.
Understanding must always be complemented with tough love. Where boundaries are clearly established in a no-nonsense way, let me put it this way! Giving direction and feedback in the proper manner is just as important as providing rules to live by.
Be Approachable– Today, everyone is dealing with their own demons. Children are pretty much left to themselves with a bunch of cash. Unfortunately, money can’t compensate for parenting or guidance. It isn’t surprising that any impressionable teenager would seek momentary thrill and speed to silence the gnawing emptiness that only a parent can fill. The negative impact of this emptiness is that teenage crime and substance abuse are on the rise. Young people are justifiably angry and resentful. Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is lasting, and no amount of therapy can undo it.
Today, young people need a safe haven. Someone they can talk to without fear of rebuttal and judgment.
Family Relationships– Adults must ensure to settle their differences behind closed doors. A peaceful, harmonious environment is the biggest blessing you could give your children.
Acceptance and Unflinching Trust– Acceptance is paramount. Teenagers must feel accepted and loved, regardless of their grades or their looks. Most teenagers I have interacted with always mention this: “My parents trust me, and that statement is usually accompanied with a smile. An Individual who feels “understood” at home will invariably grow up to be a balanced individual and win battles that need winning.
Communication– Honest heart-to-heart communication about sensitive topics like bullying, peer pressure, and sex can be incredibly beneficial. Usually, these conversations make the teenager feel like an equal participant at the table and not merely a child. Most teenagers hate the word “Child,” by the way!
Ask for Help– In certain circumstances, a counselor or a NLP Practitioner can offer alternatives and effective coaching practices when all seems lost. Never feel shy about being vulnerable and asking for help. Timely counseling can avert significant disasters.
Be Innovative, empathetic, and seek to understand. YOU have won half the battle right there!
Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder-approved training in India and the Middle East. He is one of the few ITA (International Training Academy) trainers in the world who are authorized to run New Code and Master Practitioner NLP Certifications in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He is also certified and authorized to conduct Emotional intelligence Assessments by Six Seconds, international. He is a firm believer in high performance. He enjoys engaging in powerful conversations that lead to effective learning and results. Sajid empowers his clients to achieve their most significant potential and evolve into their personal best version through emotionally intelligent coaching.
He is presently pursuing his PhD in Alternative therapies and Integrative Medicines and completed studies in Psychotherapy from Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
He is also the Founder of Inner Peace Life Coaching Pvt. Ltd, India, which specializes in Coaching in variety of Modalities like NLP, EFT, EI and Energy coaching.
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