The last thing a teen wants to do is act or think like his or her parents – and that includes taking on the same values. Part of the maturation process for young people is to find reasons why they need to move out and on with their lives by the time they become adults. The rebellious nature of teens is part of their hardwiring. They are suppose to push back, but the challenge for parents is to protect them so they don’t do something stupid or harmful that will have a lasting negative effect in their future lives as adults.
Troubled Teens Aren’t Always As Bad As They Seem
The truth is, teenagers have a hard time understanding what their values actually are. Their brains are still developing, so consequential thinking and reasoning is often hard to do. A teen child lives for the moment, without concern for tomorrow. Parents must understand this about their older children and not expect them to act or think like an adult. Developing values is a process. Hopefully as young children they saw positive examples from their caregivers, and maybe they will adopt the same values as their parents. But even if they do share similar values, they don’t want their parents to know – at least not now.
The teen years are full of exploration and examination. Don’t be surprised when your kids do or say things that were clearly not taught at home. Peer pressure is a huge motivating factor for kids in high school, and sometimes it is more important to be admired by other students than by parents. Be careful to avoid the trap that says you can control all the things your child does or sees. You can’t. They will succumb to pressure from friends and they will make mistakes. Just be available to help with love and calmness when the opportunity arises.