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To be exuberant is to be very lively, be full of energy and enthusiasm and so on. These are feelings very common among teenagers, and these feelings are responsible for a lot of excesses exhibited by teenagers. We call these excesses teenage exuberance, and they include: arrogance, stubbornness, indecent dressing, smoking, opposite sex attraction, and so on.

This situation is very challenging for parents because of how very difficult teenagers appear to be during this stage. But there are a few ways to manage teenage exuberance, here are some:

HAVING A DIALOGUE:

When children are very young and probably too young to understand dialogue, scolding and floggings (for those who subscribe to that style of punishment) may work. But when children become teenagers, they will very likely revolt if handed such punishments. This is when dialogue works better.

When your teenage son returns home too late at night, sit him down and talk with him. It will likely be more effective than shouting to high heavens and threatening to beat him up.

Stories have, in fact, been told of teenagers who attacked their parents who wanted to beat them.

Violence is one of the worst ways of managing teenage exuberance.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CHILDREN’S FRIENDS

Much of the behaviour of an exuberant teenager is influenced by friends, most of whom you don’t know as a parent.

You can hardly stop teenagers from keeping friends, but you can make efforts to know the friends your teenage child keeps. Ask your child to invite their friends to the house when you are around.

When you see the friends your child keeps, you may use your superior sense of judgment to know which friends to advise them to stay away from.

This is of course easier when you allow your children to keep some friends at all. But it is more difficult if you attempt to stop them from keeping any friend.

BEING AN EXAMPLE

It is too obvious to say that children learn best through emulation.

Teenagers sometimes replicate what they’ve seen adults around them do, and these adults include their parents!

Some teenagers tried smoking for the first time because they had been watching their father smoke.

Some keep late nights because either of their parents had the habit.

Also, have you imagined the moral right with which a father who kept late nights would berate his teenage son or daughter for coming home late? I mean, are they not birds of a feather?

Think about it.

PRAYING YOUR WAY OUT

Like we all already know (I hope), parenting isn’t always a task within the capacity of human beings. Parents need spiritual help at times because there are times when it seems nothing is working. There are times when your child fails to respond to every parenting style employed to correct their misdeeds.

At such times, prayers are needed.

Parents should, in fact, not even wait for those difficult times to come before they remember to pray. When parents pray, as well as do their jobs in parenting, things go more smoothly.

The efforts of parents in tackling and managing teenage exuberance are physical; they need spiritual efforts which can only be got through prayers.

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