Adolescence is a stage of profound changes and transformations, in some cases very important in the way of being of our children. These changes, in which we also observe insecurities and new needs, are expressed in the way they behave but also in the way they dress, comb their hair and decorate their bodies. We talk about piercings, tattoos, shaved hair in parts, impossible miniskirts and exposed belly buttons but also of those closed doors and other behaviors with which parents often do not know what to do.
On this occasion, on our site, we will try to offer some ideas of how to deal with these identity-seeking and claiming behaviors in which our children are immersed in this phase called adolescence.
But more than offering a list of guidelines, we will try to understand why one day they come home with the idea of getting a tattoo, getting a piercing or wearing one or another garment with which it is likely that we do not agree. Because beyond following a fashion, wanting to feel part of a group or differentiate themselves from others, our sons and daughters may be expressing other thoughts, such as, for example, your disagreement with us as parents in particular or your disagreement with the norms of the society in which we live in general.
Before continuing, we must remember and emphasize the importance of body image in adolescence. A phase in which many of our sons and daughters they do not stop looking, admiring and hating each other for those new bodies in which they now inhabit. Fashion, clothes, hairstyles, brands and their idols (footballers, actors, actresses, singers…) take on extraordinary value and everything seems to revolve around them. So it is not surprising that our sons and daughters want to imitate them and resemble them to the fullest, wearing the characteristic style of those stars, frequently ephemeral, that shine in the adolescent's sky.
To all this is added the pressure of the group, the fear of not being accepted or of making a fool of yourself, liking others and being attractive. This is the cost of being a teenager today. And so that neither they nor we have to pay a very high price, it is important that they arrive with the best possible equipment: a large backpack loaded with emotional intelligence, with his social skills in good shape and a self-esteem as strong and resistant as possible. Only in this way will they be better able to cope with peer pressure and make their own decisions without fear of being rejected for refusing to do something they do not agree with, we also talk about the consumption of alcohol and drugs with which they start to fool around at a younger age.
Having said this and clarifying some of these points, we will be able to better understand why our sons and daughters one day come home wanting to get a piercing, get a tattoo or cut their hair in a certain way or wear miniskirts or shorts that are too short to go elsewhere. other than the beach or the pool.
Piercings, tattoos and shaved hair in different ways either by parts or however they want to wear it it is nothing but a way of expressing a way of being, tastes and a style that, at these ages, any adolescent wants to feel as their own, differentiating or as a form of union with a group to which they want to belong so much.
And it is that in adolescence feeling part of a group is vital for our children. A phase in which parents take a secondary role and give way to friends, now the people with the greatest influence and reference for them. Boys and girls unite in groups of friends with whom to share time, ideas, music, fun, leisure ... Being outside of them means being alone, isolated, isolated, being the weird, the different, ... and therefore excluded from everything. So one way to demonstrate affinity and the search for acceptance and adherence to the group can be through external signs such as clothing, hairstyles, tattoos ...
When our son or daughter comes home with the idea of getting a tattoo, getting a piercing, a dilator ring or wants to go out with clothes that do not seem appropriate, what do we do? Do we prohibit or negotiate? Do we speak or silence their need to want to be?
We know well that as we answer these questions in one way or another it will lead to one type or another of relationship with our adolescent children. People who like it or not begin to show that they have their own criteria and that they want to be listened to, respected and taken into consideration. However, we remain your guides, and as such we must warn them of the risks and consequences of what they want to accomplish. We need to convince them without lecturing them, because sermons are useless and less at this age when they need to learn for themselves, make mistakes and be able to get up with our help if they request it.
Whenever I have had the opportunity to say it, I have said that that adolescent that we have in front of today and about whom we complain so much has not appeared out of nowhere. That child who now struggles with himself to stop being a child to become a responsible adult, has been developing within a family system with more or less rules, limits, dialogue or confrontation. In general, the children's value system tends to coincide with that of their parents as long as we have not fallen into the error of being excessively permissive, overprotective or authoritarian. In these cases, it may be the case that behaviors of oppositionism, rebellion or pasotism appear. Therefore the best option with a teenager is dialogue and negotiation against lectures and punishments.
Adolescence is one of the life stages with the greatest emotional burden and expression in which parents must continue to be role models, and the best guideline we can give is to learn to listen to them (even when they are silent) and be there to act as parachute. Whether we like it or not, our children have not come to the world to fulfill our dreams if not to live theirs, we include the nightmares that we will try to educate them from young so that they know how to avoid them.
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