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Saturday, December 02 2023
Know Your Child

Tackling healthy, unhealthy relationships during puberty, adolescence

Ramya Know your child healthy unhealthy relationships during puberty adolescence
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Puberty and adolescence are the two crucial period in an individual’s life. A lot of physical changes and emotional changes take place during the period. These changes take them on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Mixed feelings, confusions, identity crisis, and mood swings are common in this stage which not only affects them but also different people around them.

At one point your child might share every small detail with you, later on, parents can expect a drastic change in their behaviour. Getting angry for things that seem silly to you or them focusing more on their grooming or sharing almost everything with their friends. These are perfectly normal as their hormonal changes are involved in the process of development.

Unfortunately with few children (teenagers), these changes bring problems such as difficulty in handling relationships or friendships. Unaware of these facts children end up in depression, become anxious or emotionally vulnerable. Hence teenagers/children tolerate the unhealthy patterns just to fit into their peer group as this is the age where their focus is to search for the self and undefined status. But tackling these unhealthy traits are more important along with boosting the healthy ones which will help them know about themselves.

However, this process involves constant communication and support from their parents as well as teachers. Thus, let us understand this process.

Understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship

Any relationship that makes you feel happy (peaceful), comfortable or safe then you have a healthy relationship with a particular person or people. Obviously disagreements or fights are common in every relationship but it should not damage one’s real self. Such relationships help in each other’s growth, build confidence, and after resolving the conflict it is back to how it was before. In Unhealthy relationships, you tend to feel unhappy (mostly crying), uncomfortable or unsafe. Controlling, dominating, verbal/physical abuse, and gossiping are a few examples of an unhealthy relationship. You are continuously taking all the blame, you are the one who always apologises for absolute no mistake. When children can recognise these traits in their current relationship it is easy for them to get rid of it.

Build good communication

There is a saying that talks about pouring love until the child reaches five, then train your child to become self-disciplined but once he/she steps into teenage treat him/her as your friend. However, the complexity might vary but children (teenagers) can discuss fearlessly only when there is trust or mutual understanding. You might have noticed your kid refusing the food or avoiding contact with family members for days together with/without a valid reason, which might seem to be silly for you but they are silently fighting with the gamut of emotions they are already confused about. During this phase, the parent can play the role of a friend and understand and listen to them. Avoid giving advice and be practical and empathetic when you talk about issues.

Boost their self-esteem level

Teenage is the age at which adolescents develop self-concept. They are conscious of those physical and psychological changes and also they wonder who they are. These confusions sometimes affect the relationships they have with their peers. Chances of getting into a bad peer group, choosing friends who are abusive or bullying might happen too. The lack of self-esteem makes them abide by the rules of the group. This might end up in experimenting with alcohol or drug abuse among teenagers. For instance, a teenager might get into physical fights just to show that he/she is strong otherwise he/she may not get the approval of the new peer group. This happens when they lack understanding of self and also devalue their self-worth. As a parent knows about these and let your child focus more on their strengths and positive traits.

However, parents can smoothly handle a few delicate situations by taking the help of counsellors or teachers. A confused teenager can even damage their adulthood life. So make sure you develop a healthy bond and help your children grow into beautiful person.

Image by silviarita

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Ramya E.

The author is a counselor and lifeskills trainer who has trained over 2000 students. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychology.

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