Are You Driving Your Teenager To A Burnout?
Do you have a teenager at home? I am sure you’d think they are quite a handful. Somehow the generation gap does that. Parents and teens are mostly in two different paradigms.
Maybe you are a parent who pushes his teen to delve deep into studies. You only do that because it’s a fiercely competitive world and your teen would need to succeed in it. You have experienced the harsh competitiveness of your corporate life, and surely you have a better understanding of what life is all about.
Or maybe you are the disciplined parent. When your teen stays awake at nights doing his “stuff”, you are forced to give him a sermon about the importance of sleeping well at night, on time, and waking up early.
This surely doesn’t go down well with your teen, since your teen believes he has been most productive in those three hours from 11 pm to 2 am.
Teenagers, when pushed to the wall with attacks and counterattacks, may face an emotional or mental burnout. It is not a necessity that your teen’s values have to be identical to yours. That’s probably the reason that the moment teens leave home, they get a sense of freedom. Life suddenly is in their hands to do as they wish. I am sure you would not want that freedom to become a misguided missile. This is what you need to understand about your teen & the importance of avoiding teen burnout.
From the time he is in grade 9, which is 14 years of age, he can develop a sense of responsibility and ownership. Maybe you should stop spoon-feeding your teenager.
I have seen parents take it upon themselves to tell them what to do when to do, how to do. When the first three fail, they burden their teen with why they must do what they have been asked to do. The last one is invariably a threat. “If you don’t do this, then …(fear of disaster)”. Your teenager is growing up with social media, is connected to the entire world with a click of the finger, is far more conscious of the environment he lives in, critically thinks of situation and knows the difference between facts and opinions. Most teenagers, I know believe their parents manipulate them. And this stresses them out and causes their Burnout.
Explore your teenager with the lens of his mentor, not tormentor. Ask his opinion on issues that will impact him, instead of simply saying, “Do this!” ‘I am fed up with your behaviour!” “You are not old enough yet.” Treat him as an individual who has the maturity to differentiate right from wrong. That way, he will learn to execute his choice.
Have you ever gone up to your teen and asked him, “How do you feel about Engineering as a profession?” “How do you feel about exploring opportunities in Canada?” “How do you feel about waking up at 6 in the morning?” Marshall Goldsmith says, “When we do what we choose to do, we are committed. When we do what we have to do, we are compliant.” You may find out if your teen is committed and will execute your choice of actions without you, or is just executing them to manage tempers at home.
Dealing with your teen compassionately will build long-lasting bridges with them. It’s fun! Try it out!
About the author:
Debika Chaudhuri is the author of “A Parent’s Handbook to help kids set goals” and the co-founder to a career coaching consultancy, Elzix Foundation. She is a Gallup certified Strengths Coach and believes that when individuals are given opportunities to exhibit their strengths, they become far more resilient, productive, innovative, decisive, risk-taking, confident and happy. The relationships they then foster, ignite them to overcome obstacles, collaborate, and bring in synergy to their life and work, and they then perform to their peak potential. She has over the past three decades been working closely with the student communities across the world, educators, and leaders in government and private sectors enabling them to live in their highest states even when the going gets tough!
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