Psychological changes

The challenge of a father with a teenage son: accompany him in his loneliness


Within adolescence, moments of loneliness are very often. For parents, these moments are a real crisis because the relationship with their children changes radically to a somewhat critical tone, with more and more discussions and an increasingly obvious misunderstanding between the parties It is so powerful and so little understandable that it is really necessary to rediscover what it means, a challenge for parents with adolescent children: accompany them in their loneliness.

There is a song that immediately caught my attention because of the title. Ricardo Arjona is the author and it is titled 'Accompany me to be alone'. Whether the song is good or not, what attracted me was the title of the song. Contradictory and at the same time reflective the metaphor of see loneliness as a time when it can also be accompanied. We tend to see this same attitude as a sign of depression or distressing moments. We even tend to faithfully describe these moments, designing even those favorable corners where loneliness manifests itself.

It is important to redefine what this loneliness is within the psychological process. Gloria Carvajal-Carrascal points out that this experience manifests itself within a transition phase between the stage from being a child to being an adult, which begins with changes in puberty and is characterized by deep biological, psychological and social transformations, many of them they generate crises, conflicts and contradictions. These same contradictions invite him to withdraw almost instinctively, because a whirlwind of ideas and notions begins to be generated within his consciousness that not even the young man can process. For this reason, it tends to shut down and not want to share with its surroundings.

Inquiring about the possible causes, We can point out the following: shyness, low self-esteem, separation, physical illness, personal complexes, conflicts, rejection or criticism due to the fact of being misunderstood, etc. That is, a complete range of variables that, added to the same state of development, allow this sensation.

There is a very interesting and novel aspect of psychology called perinatal, which specifies that This state comes from a parenting style typical of the current labor system, which generates a style of motherhood that is not properly close, but because of the same work obligations, parents are forced to leave their children from eight months in the care of a relative or in a nursery. For this reason, this prevents the properly maternal role from being exercised, which allows for the generation of empathy and acceptance between her and her children. Furthermore, it is known that there is an increasing rate of postpartum depression among mothers, which could imply a growth of depression in their children when they are adolescents.

Having this clear, it is important to point out what to do about it. It is one thing to know the causes, but it is more important to develop clear and concrete strategies to be able to accompany our children within their own state. Let's see some tips to work these difficulties. Some of these tips are pointed out by Fernando Clementín, and I point them out because instead of indoctrinating adolescents, an attempt is made to accompany this state:

- Accompaniment and no guidance
This precision of concepts means that the young person does not require someone to indoctrinate him on what he has to do, but rather asks that someone be with him. If critical judgments are made about their condition, the tendency is for the young person to lock himself up again because he does not want to be prosecuted but rather listened to.

- Generate other types of activities
Motivate him to take actions that avoid the same state of loneliness; especially in a current context of relationships which tend to be rather virtual. Trekking, Mountain biking, tennis, soccer, recreational reading, art, music must emerge to get out of these states. The fundamental thing is to know how to read what they like and not judge that same taste. That also adds another moment of accompaniment.

- Reassess habits
These are usually a factor of rejection because we tend to represent them in an authoritarian and little understood way. For this reason, our story should tend to be more explanatory or narrative; so that the young man not only understands its importance but also re-signifies it for him.

- The goodness of loneliness
It is not so negative in itself, but it is a potion to be able to be found. Looking from this point of view also generates empathy for young people, it takes pressure off these moments.

Loneliness is not just a hard time, it is the invitation to find yourself. It is important to accompany those who live that moment. Let's not judge them, but let's be like that faithful companion who is not unaware of his burden but who watches over his dream, just as the character named Sam did in 'The Lord of the Rings'. He did not judge Frodo in his pilgrimage with the ring, but was with him at all times just to hold it.

Hopefully we can exercise this in our adolescents, because this stage represents precisely a pilgrimage from childhood to adulthood. The challenge is that we can accompany them faithfully during this step.

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