Growth, Not Juvenile Delinquency


Children are a handful most times. It’s never easy being responsible for another person, especially at a younger age. These little humans have a way of doing their things which most likely aren’t the ways they’re taught by their parents. They exhibit new and different behavioral patterns alongside improving on the ones they’ve learnt.

At puberty, there’s an increase in these behavioral patterns as well as physical changes. Children undergo most of these:
  • Increase in pressures: Teens or pre-teens begin to encounter more pressures, from family and friends. They tend to question their academic and social abilities. There’s the need to be the most brilliant student in class and also be the most popular by social standards. Visiting cool places, shopping for latest fashion items, owning cool games, traveling to other countries as well as attending top class events becomes their wishes and a standard they feel they need to live by.
  • The search for self: At this stage in child development, the search for self begins. The child begins to try out different personalities in a course to fit into their real selves. Noticeable changes like spending less time with family, being uninterested in family events of gatherings begin to occur as they prefer spending more time in their rooms, being on their phones or any other gadgets or hobbies that keeps them occupied.Mood swings of course start to set in, one moment they are happy and energetic, the next they’re withdrawn. There’s a feeling of loneliness sometimes, even when around people.
  • Challenging rules: Breaking curfews and asking why a certain rule has to be kept. Going beyond boundaries and tending to be inquisitive about various matters.
  • Biological growth and development: There are different stages to growth in life. From infancy to adulthood. A lot of bodily and behavioral changes occur at each stage. Especially at the teenage stage. Noticeable body changes occur, in boys; deepening of voice, widening of shoulders, beard growth and enlargement of some organs. In girls; growing and widening of some body parts begins, and the start of the menstrual cycle. Teens also undergo increase in their intellectual abilities. They begin to think better and be able to make certain decisions for themselves.
Teens of nowadays thinks they are uncontrollable, they think they cannot be controlled or questioned by their elders or even their own parents.
When this happens a parent should be observant for behavioral changes in the child. When these things begin to occur, a lot of parents become agitated. They always want to take full control of the situation and decide how things go in the teenagers' lives. To them this is protection. You need to do all you can as a parent to build up your child in a good way. But doing it the right way which would aid the growth of the child and result into delinquency should be the goal. Teens are very sensitive to feelings and actions towards and around them. As a parent, there are certain things you need to do which shows your child that you truly love and care for them.
  • Be there for them: Teenagers go through a lot in their development stage. Especially when growing into adulthood.They have a lot to talk about and wish they have someone to share with.Be their best friend. Not so easy? But resulting into relating their personal lives with non-family members may make you lose the bond or connection you have with them.
  • Find common grounds: Discover what your child likes and how you can encourage him/her . Find out how your rules and decisions affect your child. Have an heart-to-heart conversation with them routinely and not only when an offense is being committed.
  • Listen without judging: Everyone makes mistakes at some points in their lives. Give a listening ear and never judge them. Be sure to point out where they went wrong while telling their stories to you. Desist from self righteousness and listen like a good friend should.
  • Give good advices: From time to time,your child may walk up to you for advices, especially before making decisions. Do not fail them. Think deeply about the advice you’re about to give and how it may turn out if done. 
  • Expect rejection: Sometimes they may not be in the mood to share whatever is bothering them. Or probably don’t want to share it particularly with you. Expect rejection Sometimes when you try to make them open up to you. And be understanding when it happens.
  • Be understanding: No human is perfect. Don’t expect perfection all the time from your child. Understand that they’re human too and bound to make mistakes. Be open minded when issues arise. Put yourself in their shoes and see if you can relate to and understand how they feel at that particular moment.
  • Establish rules and consequences: Don’t just make rules, set consequences alongside them. Saying “if you do that I’ll flog you” or “don’t break your curfew otherwise I’d keep you grounded” instills more discipline than saying “don’t do that” or “don’t break your curfew”. 
When you understand all these and you're ready to make them a part of your parent-child relationship, a strong bond would be created. Your child will tend to feel more safe around you and also feel comfortable sharing things around you.

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