Parents often find themselves at a loss when their kids get older, and the sweet child they had once known transforms into a moody, withdrawn and secretive teen. It is normal for teens to be distant, as your teen becomes more independent, he will sometimes act secretive and withdrawn.
This understandably worries parents, but remember that this is just a phase. Maintain open communication lines and be patient.
What causes a secretive teen ?
Parenting a teenager is never easy. You may feel exhausted from lying awake at night worrying about where your child is, who they are with and what they are doing. You may despair over failed attempts to communicate, the endless fights and the open defiance – not to mention the moodiness, the intense emotions and the impulsive and reckless conduct.
Sometimes it may be hard to believe, but no, your teenager is not an alien being from a distant planet. But they are wired differently.
A teenager’s brain is still actively developing, therefore processes information differently than a mature adult’s brain.
The frontal cortex- the part of the brain used to manage emotions, make decisions, reason and control inhibitions- is restructured during the teenage years, forming new synapses at an incredible rate, while the whole brain does not reach full maturity until about the mid-20’s.
What should be done in such a situation?
• Give space to your teen
You might be tempted to crowd your teen and force his /her spend wore time with you and the family. But oftentimes, this will only push him away evermore.
” What you should do is tell your teen that you will always be there for them if they need you and that you are open for conversation with them”.
” You can perhaps go on a holiday with your teen and spend your time chatting, having fun – instead of talking about his/her issues – have discussions on random topics. Then you will have an idea of what is their state of mind and what is their thought process”.
It is especially important for parents of teens to learn how to listen to their children instead of lecturing. Teenagers who withdraw from their parents often do so because they feel like their parents won’t be able to understand.They might not take you up on it all the time. But when they do, make it count by actively listening.
• Be observant
Most teens become withdrawn because of normal problems like issues with friends or academics. But sometimes the problems can be more serious, like alcohol, drugs, smartphone addiction, bullying and depression. Pay attention to who your teen is friends with and what they are interested in.
There are many other things at this stage so it is not bad to be a little vigilant.
• Expect rejection
Your teen may often respond to your attempts to connect with anger, irritation an other negative reactions. Stay relaxed and allow you teen space to cool off. Try again later when you are both calm. Succesfully connecting to your teen will take time and effort. Don’t be put off, persevere and the breakthrough will come.
Add balance to your troubled secretive teen life
No matter the exact reason behind your teen’s problems,you can put balance back in their life by helping them make healthy lifestyle changes.
• Create structure
Sitting down to breakfast and dinner together everyday can also provide a great opportunity to check in with your teen at the beginning and end of each day.
• Reduce screen time
Limit the time your teen has access to electronic devices and restrict phone usage after a certain time at night to ensure your child gets enough sleep.
• Encourage exercise
Even a little regular exercise can help ease depression, boost energy and mood, relieve stress and improve your teen’s self esteem.
• Eat right
Healthy eating can help stabilize a teenager’s energy, sharpen their mind and even out their mood.
• Ensure your teen gets enough sleep
Encourage better sleep by setting consistent bedtimes and removing TVs, computers and other electronic gadgets from you teens room – the light from these devices suppresses melatonin production and stimulates the mind, rather than relaxing it. Suggest that your teen try listening to music or audio books at bedtime instead.
Take care of yourself too
It’s important to take care of yourself by looking after your emotional and physical needs and learning to manage stress. You can try following things to destress yourself-
• Take time to relax daily by regularly practicing relaxation techniques.
• Talk it over with a trusted friend or a therapist who can defuse intensity of your feelings.
• Don’t go it alone, especially if you’re a single parent. find supportfrom family, friends, a school counselor or someone else who has a relationship with your teen.
• Remember you other children as dealing with a troubled teen can unsettle the whole family.It can be especially hand on other children, so make sure they are not ignored.
This won’t last forever
It is worth reminding your teen that no matter how much pain or themail they are experiencing right now, with your love and support, professional help when it’s needed, the situation can and will get better-for both of you. Your teen can overcome the problems of adolescence and mature into happy, well-balanced young adult.
For more informative articles on health issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult.