Parents have no right to control the lives of their children above 16 We can always argue on this topic when you look at it from different point of view. You can either disagree or agree to it. I choose not to agree on this topic as we parents are still responsible for teens even when they are 16-17 years old. In Malaysia 21 years old and above are considered and adults and until then they are still in the guidance of their parents.
We hear many cases in Malaysia that children run away from home at this age and with lots of disciplinary problem among this teenagers. Parents still support them financially even until they go to University, only after they start to work or above the age of 22 they have some sort of maturity within them. I have two daughters age 7 and 12 respectively. With having daughters in the family I have to be extra cautious and careful when I bring them up.
The world that we are in now are not like how I grew up. Freedom was given to us but at the same time we are aware of our limits and do not break the rules set by our parents. They know when to let us go and pull back the string whenever it is necessary. We see adolescents in today’s era have been too free with their outside world. Including the criminal cases they always do. The beginning is the need to educate parents at home to monitor them and their activities. Parents need to give early education to their children so that they can learn good things like respecting others, Fears of older people, Not wanting to do bad things. Otherwise, If we see teenage crime now very high and the range of crimes they make in our unexpected adulthood. If we as parents do not care about this problem then the children will be neglected and continue to make mistakes. We see teens who sniff the glue, Give birth to children out of wedlock, Steal, And so on at a young age. From that example, We as adults are saddened by the fate they have experienced at their young age as they have been trapped and the dark future.I would like to break down on the type of issues arrive within the teens if we parents do not control them at this age. CRIMINAL We often read news and hear that teenagers are involved in crimes, drugs, sexual abuse, child trafficking and kidnapping. The world is dangerous and filled with criminals. Parents could not control the teens who are very much involved in all the above crimes once they are involved. It is possible to be solve this problems but the hardship that need to go thru is just unbearable. Gangsterism is a fast and growing crime among school goers. Survey has been done in Malaysia where almost all schools are involved in gangsterism. Child trafficking, kidnapping and child rapes are all crimes which is vast happening in Malaysia. Proper guidance and control from parents can eliminate this problem. SOCIAL MEDIA & ELECTRONIC GADGETS This new cybercrime are very much beginning at a very young age even before becoming a teenager. Facebook, Instagram, Wattsup etc are filled with lots of information good and bad. Every teenagers owns a mobile phone, every house has WI-FI connection and internet connections or mobile phone data’s are fast and cheap. The amount of news feed or videos that they read and watch are beyond our expectation. Teenagers gets excited by the new information’s which they read and experience it. There are no control on what are uploaded on the internet, youtube and social media. Parents should monitor their children if they are into this kind of social media and electronic gadgets. We can set passwords and set up only parental friendly sites only. MEDIA & SATELLITE TELEVISION In Malaysia Astro was one of the only Satellite television that we had broadcasting channels from overseas. Nowadays with the easier internet access and facilities Media can be reached easy, fast and cheaper from all over the world by being uncensored too. Teenagers are easily being influenced by movies and those movies which make them interest, they change into that character. Dressing sense has been evolved. Teenagers would like to follow the food steps of their friends and they are the trend setters when it comes to dressings and grooming’s. Dresses now are too skimpy and exposed. Dressings like this will only attracts issues like sexual abuse and rape cases. As a parents I should teach my daughters on how to dress and to respect others especially when we attend a social event. Passwords can also be set up to avoid unnecessary viewing by children’sSOCIAL EVENTSSocial events such as birthday parties, prom nights are common in Malaysia. Events like this today are different. Alcohol and drugs are being distributed without the knowledge of parents and teachers. Being a father who works in the hotel industry, I witness myself on these events where teenagers goes out of the hand. There are no proper control. If you are told to be home a certain time, then you get home at that time, If you are told not to drink at a party then you are just not allowed to do so. Parties like this gives an opportunity as a prey to those criminals if they do not behave themselves and know their limits. Being a young parents it is a challenge to up bring a child in a society which is full of expectation. However we as a parents have our own ways of nurturing teenagers and guiding them without us being a hatters. I must emphasize that teenagers behaviour now are what we teach them when they were young. I would like to share some of the points below which can be use full to other parents. BOOSTING YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEMTeenagers start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents’ eyes. Our tone of voice, body language and our every expression are absorbed by our kids. The words and actions that we use as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting our kids do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavourably with another will make kids feel worthless. Always avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like “What a stupid thing to do!” or “You act more like a baby than your little brother!” cause damage just as physical blows do. Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your kids know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don’t love their behaviour.CATCH KIDS BEING GOODHow many times we react negatively to our kids in a given day? We find ourselves criticizing far more often than complimenting. How would I feel about if my boss who treated me that much negative guidance, even if it was well intentioned? The more effective approach is to catch kids doing something right: “You made your bed without being asked ” that’s terrific!” or “I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient.” These statements will do more to encourage good behaviour over the long run than repeated scolding’s. Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards ” your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find you are “growing” more of the behaviour you would like to see.SET LIMITS AND BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR DISCIPLINEDiscipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help teenagers choose acceptable behaviour and learn self-control. They may test the limits you establish for them, but they need those limits to grow into responsible adults. Establishing house rules helps kids understand our expectations and develop self-control. Some rules might include: no TV until homework is done, and no hitting, name-calling, or hurtful teasing allowed. We might want to have a system in place: one warning, followed by consequences such as a “time out” or loss of privileges. A common mistake we parents make is failure to follow through with the consequences. We can’t discipline kids for talking back one day and ignore it the next. Being consistent teaches what you expect.MAKE TIME FOR YOUR KIDSIt’s often difficult for parents and kids to get together for a family meal, let alone spend quality time together. But there is probably nothing kids would like more. Get up 10 minutes earlier in the morning so you can eat breakfast with your child or leave the dishes in the sink and take a walk after dinner. Teenagers who aren’t getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they’re sure to be noticed that way. Many parents find it rewarding to schedule together time with their kids. Create a “special night” each week to be together and let your kids help decide how to spend the time. Look for other ways to connect ” put a note or something special in your kid’s lunchbox.Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids. Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to be available when their teen does express a desire to talk or participate in family activities. Attending concerts, games, and other events with your teen communicates caring and lets you get to know more about your child and his or her friends in important ways. Do not feel guilty if you’re a working parent. It is the many little things you do ” making popcorn, playing cards, window shopping ” that kids will remember.BE A GOOD ROLE MODELYoung kids learn a lot about how to act by watching us. The younger they are, the more cues they take from us. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you’re constantly being watched by your kids. Studies have shown that children who hit usually have a role model for aggression at home. Model the traits we wish to see in our kids: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behaviour. Do things for other people without expecting a reward. Express thanks and offer compliments. Above all, treat our kids the way we expect other people to treat you.MAKE COMMUNICATION A PRIORITYWe can’t expect kids to do everything simply because we, as a parent, “say so.” They want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. If we don’t take time to explain, kids will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis. Parents who reason with their kids allow them to understand and learn in a non-judgmental way. Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it, express our feelings, and invite our child to work on a solution with us. Be sure to include consequences. Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to them suggestions as well. Negotiate. Kids who participate in decisions are more motivated to carry them out. A very important point in communication is also as a parents we should be able to listen. Most parents fail in communication because we do not listen to them and their problems. We always assume there are no problem within them and as a teenager apart from education there should be nothing else which matters them. This is where we make mistakes. BE FLEXIBLE AND WILLING TO ADJUST YOUR PARENTING STYLEIf we often feel “let down” by your child’s behaviour, perhaps you have unrealistic expectations. Parents who think in “should” (for example, “My kid should be matured enough at this teen age”) might find it helpful to read up on the matter or to talk to other parents or child development specialists. Teenage environments have an effect on their behaviour, so you might be able to change that behaviour by changing the environment. If we find ourselves constantly saying “no” to your 16 year old, look for ways to alter your surroundings so that fewer things are off-limits. This will cause less frustration for both of us.As teen changes, we will gradually have to change our parenting style. Chances are, what works with our child now won’t work as well in a year or two.Teens tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. But continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence. And seize every available moment to make a connection!SHOW THAT YOUR LOVE IS UNCONDITIONALAs a parent, we are responsible for correcting and guiding our kids. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it. When we have to confront our child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining our kids. Make sure we know that although you want and expect better next time, our love is there no matter what.KNOW YOUR OWN NEEDS AND LIMITATIONS AS A PARENTLet’s face it, we are an imperfect parent. We have strengths and weaknesses as a family leader. Recognize our abilities ” “I am loving and dedicated.” Vow to work on our weaknesses ” “I need to be more consistent with discipline.” Try to have realistic expectations for ourselves, our spouse, and our kids. You don’t have to have all the answers ” be forgiving to ourselves and try to make parenting a manageable job. Focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once. Admit it when we are burned out. Take time out from parenting to do things that will make you happy as a person (or as a couple).HELP YOUR CHILDREN DEVELOP SOCIAL SKILLS.Researchers tracked more than 750 children over a period of 13 to 19 years. They found a correlation between the children’s social skills as kindergarteners and how self-confident and successful they were as adults.These findings highlight the importance of teaching children social skills.Here’s a list of social skills that we can help your children develop: Sharing Giving feedback Accepting differences Respecting others’ rights and property Identifying others’ feelings Seeing things from others’ perspective Making eye contact Managing negative emotions Listening Not interrupting Resolving conflicts Disagreeing respectfully Cooperating Helping others Complimenting others Being polite Asking for helpRELIGION OR BEING SPRITUAL Family that prays together stays together. We often sees families being broken because of not being spiritual. It teachers us to be Harmonies among families and friends. Faithful parents place great meaning on parenthood, strive to believe in our children. The most important point in religion is to forgive someone. A religious parents see God as a very empathetic. Parents who are able to view God in this way believe that God wants to love and take care of them and accept them no matter their shortcomingsWith all these we as a parents play a very important role towards our teenage children. It is never easy saying NO to them but better now rather then being late. Towards the end and when they grow to be a young adults with good characters, we as a parents will realise and say yes we have done a good job