Parenting a teenager: why you may need to do some introspection

As children develop, behavioural changes occur which may affect your relationship with them.

According to experts, parents may need to change the way they relate to children when these changes occur, particularly as their teenage years approach.

Azania Mosaka spoke to Wits University social worker Busisiwe Nkala-Dlamini to explore this and what kind of changes you may need to start incorporating to prepare for this part of parenting.

Nkala-Dlamini says one should start by remembering there is no manual.

There are various texts out there that tell us we are not doing good enough as parents and that narrative then affects the parent's self-esteem. Parents never feel good enough to change the challenges their children are going through...

Busisiwe Nkala-Dlamini, Social worker - Wits University

Nkala-Dlamini says in a changing environment, parents may feel like they are not coping. The challenge that she has picked up is the underlying message parents send out to their children when reprimanding them or attempting to keep them from certain dangers.

The participants in my study said parents are always sending threatening messages. A boy in the group said: 'When you talk to them about teenage pregnancy - I want my father to say to me, prevent girls from falling pregnant, use a condom and if it comes to a push, demonstrate using a banana.'

Busisiwe Nkala-Dlamini, Social worker - Wits University

Controlling is overrated. I don't think we can control them but parents need to be there emotionally.

Busisiwe Nkala-Dlamini, Social worker - Wits University

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation....


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