Our parents have survived a lack of sleep during the toddler years, put up with the 1irrational pre-school temper tantrums and experienced the primary school anxieties. In that case, why would the process of change we undergo as we become a teenager lead them to wonder when this whole teenage phase would be behind them?

As we children mature and become teenagers, we begin to think in more abstract ways, while trying to form our own identity. Parents who were used to their children being previously willing to conform just to please them may suddenly find their teenage children becoming more 2assertive and more likely to voice their opinions. If our parents realise that teenagers need more space and room to grow into a young adult, then there is no conflict. however, if parents were to view this as disobedience instead, then they might take drastic measures to reassert control. This would then cause further tensions between our parents and us.

One of the biggest problems arises from our 3pervasive use of media and technology. Due to technology, specifically the Internet becoming our new 4surrogate parent, some of us may have drifted away from our parents. we are excited about the ready access to a wealth of information online. Naturally, our parents would want to monitor what we are viewing and reading. The problem comes about when our parents start to set limits on the amount of computer or television-viewing time we are allowed, or want to know who we are communicating with online. we would then feel that we are not trusted or that our privacy has been invaded. There would therefore need to be a balance here, with us providing parents with the details they need to know, and parents showing some level of trust such as allowing our texts, e-mails, and telephone calls to be private. This might lead to some discomfort, but this is inevitable as we teens forge our identity as young adults who can be trusted.

Besides media and technology, another worrying problem may be the lack of definite goals in our lives as we attempt to forge our sense of self and identity. Peer pressure may cause some teenagers to pick up vices such as consuming alcoholic beverages or smoking. The situation becomes more complicated when we become unhappy with academic expectations and other life goals that our parents place on us, which may lead us feeling, in our ignorance, that our parents do not care about us. As a result, such misunderstandings may create more problems between parents and teenagers.

The teenage years are the best times of our lives and we will 5by and large grow up to have many good memories of these years. As the teenage years represent a period of intense growth in the physical, moral and cognitive domains, it is natural for them to be a time of confusion and disruption for many parents and teens. Just as parents have to accept that some conflict is necessary to better prepare their children for life, we teenagers need to understand our parents’ point of view and accept that it would take time to resolve our problems. We will then eventually grow into the unique, strong individuals that we will become.

1. irrational: not logical or reasonable.

2. assertive: confident and direct in putting forth one’s views.

3. pervasive: spread throughout.

4. surrogate: one that takes the place of another, a substitute.

5. by and large (idiom): for the most part.




Article extracted from iThink Issue 1 (pages 15-19)

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Written by: Mr Kelvin Yap from