This is the most important thing that parents have to do to help avoid teen rebellion. They should understand, learn, and practice good parenting methods and principles. These principles include the following:
- Linking the child to the Almighty
- Understanding your child and parenting with knowledge
- Understanding your child’s environment
- Providing a healthy, pleasant, loving, and positive family atmosphere.
- Expressing love, gentleness, and kindness
- Sharing feelings
- Practicing mutual respect
- Brevity in preaching
- Never resorting to force
- Being fair to all
- Bonding on a personal level with each child
- Teaching them that every soul is accountable for what it earns (Consequences)
- Providing opportunity for self corrections (Good deeds wipe out bad ones)
- Emphasizing positive action
- Being wise and picking your fights. Dealing with wisdom is your best asset as a parent
- Using a step by step and gradual approach to change undesired behaviors Using effective communications and active listening
- Reasoning, dialoging, and discussing
- Utilizing what is best in all your dealings with teens
- Helping your child to be capable and develop skills
- Facilitating their being part of a larger community
- Helping them to understand the logical reasons for what is going on around them
- Providing healthy and suitable alternatives
- Controlling anger
- Teaching cooperation
- Fulfilling promises
- Utilizing opportunities
- Illustrating consequences in a vivid way
- Fulfilling their spiritual needs, touching their soul and awakening their conscience
- Using examples from environment that they can relate to
- Using the rule of the lesser of two evils(avoiding the greater harm by committing the lesser harm)
- Not forcing them to pick up where you left off
- Forgiving and forgetting
- Following up and being consistent
- Teaching Modesty
- Using a holistic approach
- Having realistic expectations
- Training for accountability, respectability
- Providing positive peer pressure, and
- Working toward a common point of reference
We feel that knowledge is a must for parents in the following areas:
- Teen`s development stages,
- Teen`s environment,
- Teen`s need for approval, and
- General knowledge
It is critically needed for parents to make sure they teach their children what is right and what is wrong and the wisdom behind various prohibitions. It will also allow parents to answer their teen`s questions in an intelligent way that would help them to make sense out of what is going around them. When parents lack proper knowledge, and they hope to achieve certain results by just saying to their teens, “don’t do this because…” without logically engaging them in an intelligent discussion that can help them with their outer environment, it doesn`t work. Teens face very hostile environment outside their homes, and they need the proper knowledge to answer their colleagues question in an intelligent way that makes sense to them. Parents tend to force their ideas on their teens through instructing and lecturing, thinking that this is enough for them. This is far from the truth. Dialoguing, reasoning, and explaining will certainly help.
The second area of knowledge is the teen’s developmental stages and changes that take place within teens bodies and minds during adolescence stages. Drastic physical, emotional, social, intellectual and psychological changes constitute an integral part of this stage. These changes make teens moody and very sensitive to comments, particularly from their parents. The search for identity and eagerness to achieve independence in another very important characteristic of the adolescent stage. Parent`s knowledge of such attributes helps tremendously in knowing how to appropriately deal with teens and how to use the proper language and body gestures to avoid embarrassing their teens and avoid pushing them into using rebellious attitude.
The third area of knowledge is the teen’s environment. There is no doubt that environment has very considerable effects on the behavior of humans. Popular teen culture promotes exactly the opposite of what we try to instill in our teens. While parents want their teens to care for family and promote strong bonds among family members, care for other members of the community, and pay attention to the well being of the whole society they are living in, pop culture promotes individuality. It is mainly about what the individual wants and feels like doing without considering the rights of others or the consequences of their actions on the rest of society. While we parents would like to raise our teens to carry out duties and practice self control and self elevation, so that not everything the teen wants, he or she can do,
Popular teen culture emphasizes physical indulgence and following fashions to the extent that there is always a new fashion’ not only for each year. But even for every season. Those who don’t adopt these new fashions are not considered “in”. Those who don’t embrace new fashions are not part of the popular group and are not accepted by others. There is also popular teen cultures emphasis on short-term gains and immediate gratification. Teens are encouraged to do whatever they feel like doing in the spur of the moment, irrespective of the consequences of their actions. Popular teen culture doesn`t put a lot of weight on respecting authority figures in the life of teens such as parents, teachers, and elder community members. As a matter of fact, it is even considered heroic to challenge such figures of authority in society. Popular teen culture promotes the use this kind of language are considered cool and those who don`t are not welcomed as part of the “in” group.
WISDOM, A GREAT ASSET
Wisdom is great asset. Parents need wisdom as well as knowledge. Knowledge in itself is not enough. Wisdom will help parents to apply their knowledge properly. Wisdom is the parent`s best friend, particularly when they deal with teens. Wisdom is needed to handle each situation according to its own merits. Wisdom is needed to make sure they don`t compare their children to each other. Children are not all the same and wisdom is needed to find out the key to each Childs personality and the best way to deal with that personality. Wisdom is needed by parents to pick their fights and make sure they over look minor mistakes by their teens to strengthen the bond between them and their children, rather than straining the relationship by being picky.
Wisdom is also needed to know when to say “No” and when to say “Yes” whenever you can because too many “Nos” may have a drastic effect on the relationship with your teen. Wisdom is needed for parents to appreciate the different environment our teens are living in and the types of pressures they are facing in this environment. Wisdom is also needed to ensure that parents can see the bigger picture of every situation and try to always choose the lesser of the two evils, rather than being stubborn and causing more harm by straining their relationship with their teens and letting the situation slip out of their hands.
Effective communication is another very important parenting principle. It includes, among other things, brevity in preaching, active listening, use of dialogue, anger management, and being approachable.
First, never bore your youth with lengthy lectures. Use proper occasions to admonish them and teach hem certain lessons. Always be very attentive to anyone speaking to you and never interrupt anybody during his/her talk. Most of the time he, use dialogue as a means of communication to prove our point and convince the other person. Another effective tool of communication is anger management. Following is some of his advice in this regard:
- Seek refuge with the Almighty from Satan
- Change your position: If one of you gets angry while he’s standing let him sit down, and if he is still angry let him lie down.
- Be silent: If one of you gets anger let him be silent.
Parents should make use of all these wonderful techniques to manage their anger when they are in conflict with their children. Parents should not be quick to react when they are upset with their kids, but should use the above strategies instead. It may be difficult at first, and it does take training, but these techniques are very helpful and make it a lot easier to avoid unnecessary problems. Parents should also teach their children these anger management techniques, and train to use them.
Being approachable is the last component we would like to emphasize under effective commendation. Whoever has a young child, let him act like a child with him/her.
This is what every parent has to do to have a successful relationship with his/her children. We have to be approachable fathers and approachable mothers. Our children should be able to approach us with anything they have on their minds at any time. Providing a Positive, warm and encouraging family atmosphere is the key for a strong, healthy relationship between parents and children, particularly during the taxing, adolescent years. On the other hand, being judgmental, yelling, and shouting doesn’t help in having a strong bond and seeming approachable to our children .Our children shouldn’t hesitate to approach us with all their problems.
TEACHING AND TRANING CHILDERN FOR ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, AND RESPECTABILITY
The above three components, accountability, responsibility, and respectability are very important and highly regarded values. Training and teaching our children to practice these amazing virtues will, no doubt, help refine their character and help them resist succumbing to the low confrontational behavior of rebelling against their parents.
PROVIDING HEALTHY AND SUITABLE ALTERNATIVES
It is the responsibility of parents to find proper recreational alternatives to fill the lives of their children in the society, and to replace the bad influence of certain destructive social habits and of television. Rather than leaving our teens to spend lots of time in front of the television, or surfing the internet, providing an educational entertaining video could be a good alternative. At the community level, parents should allow and facilitate for their teens to be involved in various activities and so on.
When you instruct your teen to do something, even something little, be serious, assertive and make sure you make eye contact with the child. When you say it only once and the child doesn`t do it, ignoring this has serious consequences. From then on, the child will always take your instructions lightly. However, if you follow up on your instructions, the child will understand that you mean business and that they are not a joke and will take them seriously.
PROVIDING A HEALTHY, PLEASANT, LOVING AND POSITIVE FAMILY ATMOSPHERE
According to psychologists and scholars of child development, family atmosphere is one of the most crucial factors affecting the formation of children’s personalities. A pleasant family atmosphere, no doubt, contributes positively to reducing friction and confrontation between parents and teens. Teens feel more secure in their relationship with parents in this kind of family atmosphere. This in turn aids in avoiding cumulative negative feelings on the part of teens towards their parents, which will certainly lead to reducing teen rebellion.
WORK WITH YOUR TEEN TOWARD A COMMON POINT OF REFERENCE
When people have different sources to derive their principles from, they adopt various ways and have diverse perceptions of life. As, such if our children are left without being properly directed to the right sources in the most appealing and attractive way, they will end up adopting the mainstream pop culture as their point of reference. This could be achieved through an open channel of communication and focusing on the quality rather than the quantity, as well as touching their hearts and souls are very important.
HELP IN PROVIDING POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE
Teens are at a stage of their lives where the approval of their peers means a lot to them. If parents manage to surround their teens with a group of friends who share the same values, those friends will certainly apply positive peer pressure on the teen. They will also help in supporting each other and sheltering each other from the negative effects of mainstream youth.
At the community level, there are many things that can be done to help safeguard our youth and provide them with an alternative and positive environment in which they can feel they belong. The Contribution of families and individuals shouldn’t only be limited to financial support and monetary donations to these centers and organizations, but also through volunteering to help in various projects in any areas of expertise a person may possess. It is integral that teens have a strong community backing them up as a source of support, especially since they may not always feel a sense of belonging to mainstream society (and rightly so).
SPECIFIC PROJECTS AND SUGGESTIONS
The following is list of projects and suggestions that we think could be easily executed with reasonable efforts in any mid- sized to large sized community. Firstly, we need to establish youth centers. And of course, youth centers would be pointless if the youth don’t come to them so we must strive very hard to both make the youth feel welcome in these centers and to ensure that these centers contain enough activities for children and youth that will draw them there.
Youth representation will also help cut the guess-work out of how the youth can be helped as the youth representatives will be able to voice the needs and concerns of the youth that need to be addressed. Support national organizations, particularly those that work in the family and youth area. Establish a library of good books and audio-visual materials on the subjects. Encourage youth to volunteer and participate in mainstream activities and projects (in a structured and organized fashion) such as: Blood donation clinics (blood drives), Shelters, Food banks, Etc…………..