By: Natasha Archary
On Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo the team tackled the age old parenting question, “Why do teenagers think they’re too cool for school?”
When parenting teenagers, dealing with disinterest on their part and a little rebellion is expected.
As kids get older and grow into their own allowing them a little freedom goes without saying.
It’s almost like they go from sweet child to brooding and distant with the snap of a finger.
Keneiloe Huma’s experience with her teen nieces and nephews over the holidays is familiar territory for parents with teenage kids.
They literally want nothing to do with you!
Too cool for school
The first thing parents need to understand is not to take their teenage child’s disinterest personally.
Teenagers are dealing with a lot of anxiety when they hit puberty.
The changes that take place with their bodies, peer pressure, fight for popularity and wanting independence can feel overwhelming for a teen.
Pushing their parents or adults away, isolating from family or disconnecting altogether is normal.
One thing a parent shouldn’t do with disinterested teenagers is to force them to do something.
Instead, give them the freedom they so desperately long for but still maintain your presence.
That push and pull you feel from your teen is completely normal and it’s important for them to establish who they are, outside of everything you taught them.
One of the biggest factors when parenting a teenager is that they feel misunderstood.
It’s not that they don’t need you present, it’s just that they want to have an input in decisions that involved them.
While it may seem like everything you do is lame, your teen just needs some space.
In the digital age, most of their lives are etched online. While it may feel like your teenager is losing respect for you, remember respect is a two-way street.
You have to give respect in order to receive it.