“Enjoy while you can, that later comes adolescence and …”. How many times have we heard this phrase and many more that go along the same lines? And it is that in the end we cannot avoid it: that our children reach adolescence terrifies us. That is why we have spoken with Ángel Peralbo, psychologist and writer of books such as “Your son is not your enemy”, so that he could tell us some keys to better cope with this stage in the lives of our sons and daughters.
- One of the fears that mothers and fathers around the world share regarding their children is, without a doubt, adolescence. Why this fear towards this stage of the life of our children?
The first is because it is not lost on us that the reality of adolescence is much more complex, it is more difficult and, obviously, it is associated with more worries than almost any other stage of life. Therefore, it is a stage of changes, it is a stage that is in opposition to what has happened up to that moment.
But, although this is the objective part associated with adolescence, the real problem is not so much adolescence, but the anticipation process, because parents have been around for a long time anticipating negatively what will happen to your teenagers. And this is a problem because the brain is better prepared to handle difficult situations when they arrive than when they have not yet arrived.
That is to say, anticipating what we think is going to happen, basic emotions arise such as fear, which becomes a constant fear, which will weaken and predispose us. In addition, we also have to keep in mind that the experiences of others do not have to be our own. We cannot recharge and allow ourselves to be conditioned by the experiences of others.
- Parents of adolescents today have to take into account many aspects that did not even exist before, such as new technologies, social networks … Are these ingredients that can further complicate the relationship with our children?
Without a doubt. Because although I believe that it is not reasonable to attribute to these types of tools in themselves any power to worsen any stage of life, it must be said that they are very powerful tools for which I believe that we have not prepared ourselves, and There it is true that, just as I have alluded to before that fear can paralyze us, here I have to say that perhaps fear has come too late, Because in the end this boils down to the fact that fear is not a good indicator of education.
I think we have arrived too late because, naively, all these types of tools (online video games, chats with people we do not know, social networks …) have been allowed to enter through the front door and, when we wanted to find out, it turns out that what we have put in your hands are tools that are excessively powerful for your analytical capacity and your degree of maturity. Therefore, yes, this can worsen the relationship with our children, especially in terms of communication, however paradoxical it may be.
- And regarding the use they make of social networks or mobile phones and all these tools, what advice would you give parents about the position they should adopt?
Well, the first thing is not to stay in fear, but also to be realistic. Therefore, I would recommend avoiding being constantly on top of our teenagers, verbally pounding on something that they know perfectly well that they should not do, assuming and accepting that they may be doing things that we do not like, because they will continue to do it outside the home. It is also important to impose levels of control and regulation within the home, and try to be persuasive enough, but not from negative emotions (fear, anger …) because this makes adolescents take much more refuge and hide things from us. Adults.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.