What to do with the teens of the New Millenium 6/5/2006 8:42:51 AM Questions surround us about what the working parent should do these days with their teenagers as they work.
What to do with the teens of the New Millennium
By Helen C. Downey
The teenagers today are much different from those of ten years ago and they make the teens from further back in years look like geeks. But what the teens today are up against is an entirely different game.
Teens today have parents that work long hours, leaving them to either fend for themselves…eating and hopefully doing something constructive or they have them putting up with grandparents. So what's a parent to do? Do you chance on letting your child stay up most of the night so they will sleep in until you get home from work? Or would it be better for your child/children have to go to grandma and grandpa's house every day?
Many teenagers that are left home alone usually have stayed up all night playing computers games such as ‘X-BOX. This can drain up all the teenagers’ mental strength and leave them cranky. They are not only cranky because of the addiction this game brings upon them, but because their circadian rhythm has been drastically altered. They wake up around maybe two or the next afternoon. Breakfast has been skipped and now they are too tired to fix even a small lunch. Along with this decrease in food intact teenagers are also going through a huge hormonal overload. Along with decreased food intact, decreased sleep and the raged hormones, we now have a teenage Frankenstein. Parents complain that they just don’t understand their teenagers. The parents and teenagers clash as they both strive for authority while both are asking the question, ‘Why is this happening?’There is a vicious cycle which thickens as time goes on and both parties begin to feel trapped. How do we break the cycle is the question both parents and teenagers ask. These are the muddy water years.
The cycle can be broken, but it must be done with care. Elimination of the ‘X-BOX should be a priority. Well don’t eliminate it all at once. We can’t have the teenager going through severe withdraws. Yes, I am serious. It would be like telling an individual to stop smoking cigarettes right now. I wouldn’t want to be around that person, so therefore you wouldn’t want to be around a teenager that is withdrawing from the X-BOX.Gradually limit the use of this game. Have a teenager play this game only when you are home for designated times but not permitting them to stay up all night. Set rules for daily chores to be accomplished while you are at work. Call him frequently, just to say you love them. That is something teenagers need more of these days.Make sure there are easy to prepare or nutritionally prepared food for them to pop in the microwave. Leave little notes for them to read about how important they are. You will see a big difference in one week. This will let you know that the teenagers’ body is readjusting to his or her proper circadian rhythm. This works well if you only have one teenager in the house. If there are two teenagers, especially of opposite sex…that’s a different story. Off to plan B.
Many parents are more than willing to have their grandchild/grandchildren spend eight hours or so a day with them. Grand parents are full of knowledge about all sorts of good things. At their age they have more patience in dealing with teenagers and if the teenager is close to their grandparents…at least one of them, they will be will to go to their house. Some grandparents are adventurous or have many odd jobs for the teenager to do. It will be beneficial to both. The teenager learns new things while the grand parent enjoys not only the teaching but benefits in getting another task finished. Now we have the teenager feeling better about them selves in that they are slowly becoming a specialist in some thing. Grand parents love to cook so the teenager gets a proper breakfast and lunch. Soon the teenager has more energy, less fighting with his parents, and now they have something important to talk about to their parents.
If grandparents don’t want to take on this wonderful experience there are other family members and even friends that you would be surprised would be thrilled to teach and guide a teenager. Teenagers always have someone to count on.
Watch for more articles on dealing with teenagers.