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     Parents Change Too
     Crises In The Family
     Health Aspects
     Your Sick Child
     Medicine Chest
     Infectious Diseases
     Other Problems
     Everyday Incidents
     Physical Handicaps


You have to adjust to all sorts of changes during your adolescence, but so do your parents. Sharing a home with young adults is quite different from living with small children, and family life can’t be organized just on their terms anymore. They probably have less privacy and less time on their own, and a quiet evening by themselves may be a rarity. You are also much more expensive to keep now: the wants and needs of small children tend to be simpler and cheaper than those of teenagers, and so they may be under extra financial strain.

'They make me mad' syndrome

'Sometimes I feel really depressed and I don’t know why. Then just because I don't feel like saying much, or I want to be by myself, my Dad says to my Mom, ‘Honey, she’s just going through a phase’. That makes me really mad. It means they don’t understand how I’m feeling.

Here are some points for Teenagers to remember too:

  • Parents need time to adjust.You’re changing so rapidly that it’s inevitable that parents tend to be one step behind. There will be times when you feel they treat you like a child. This is irritating, but it’s just as bad to have parents who expect too much of you.

  • Even if you aren't getting along well, parents are basically on your side. If you have a problem, don’t assume that they wouldn’t understand or be prepared to help you. Other people’s parents often seem nicer, kinder, and more understanding than your own, but this is often an illusion. Parents put on a good show when there are visitors. They don’t (or shouldn’t) shout at their children or make them look small in front of their friends. Your parents may seem marvelous to your friends. If you do have difficult parents, your friends will realize it is not your fault.

  • Your parents know that you have to grow up and grow away from them, but they may be hurt (and take it out on you) if they feel you have no time for them any more. If they complain, “You treat this house like a hotel,” it doesn’t mean they want to stop taking care of you. It’s a sign that they’d like a little more appreciation, so may be you could find a little time to talk to them or to do your share of family chores.

Your teenage years may be a difficult time for your parents for other reasons quite unconnected with you.

  • Maybe they have to take increasing responsibility for their own aging parents.

  • For many it is a make –or-break time at work, they realize that it is their last chance to change direction if they have not been very happy in their job, or they have to face the fact that they are never going to get that final promotion.

  • For many who become unemployed in their middle years, things can look very bleak as the prospects of re-employment are not good.

  • Be tactful about how and when you make demands. If you know that they have their problems, too, choose another moment to complain about the unfair treatment you’ve been getting. If you know that money is tight, try to wait a bit before asking for an advance or an increased allowance.

Case Study:

You might think you’re quite cool for a parent, but wait until you’ve got a daughter growing into her teens; You’ll soon feel very passe….

Like many other thirty something mothers, I still go out with my friends and wear the same clothes as anyone under 30. I’ve remained a teenager at heart, and will probably do so for the rest of my life. I cut my teeth on the Sex Pistols and have been part of every other music revolution since. So the idea of my daughter’s approaching teenage years never filled me with dread. I would be able to cope with her infatuations with squeaky-clean boy bands, girl-power politics and shopping trips. I’d probably even enjoy them.

Except when Susan did become a teenager, it wasn’t what I expected. Recently, a poster of the heavy metal band 'Dread not the Dead' appeared on her bedroom wall. Hairy and pierced, with the kind of pointy clipped beards that I find particularly scary, they’re not the best-looking bunch. My daughter finds this very amusing.

And 'Dread..Dead' are the least worrying of the bunch. At least they sound okay, and have a sense of humour. Some of the others she favours are unspeakably hideous. 'Slipknot' wear horrible bondage masks and vomit on stage. Until recently, MTV wouldn’t feature them. According to Select magazine, when they formed in 1995 one horrified record company executive said : “ If that is the future of music, then I don’t want to be alive.” They were introduced on TFI Friday as “the world’s scariest band”, and even they appeared startled after their performance.

Susan and her friends have mutated into a new breed of teenager who detest lyrics such as Britney’s “I was born to make you happy”. When I asked my daughter who she would most like to see as a pin-up, she announced : “ Kurt Cobain of Nirvana”. “But he’s dead, darling.” I pointed out, “It’s rather unusual to have a deceased pop star in a teenage magazine. What about 5ive?”. Susan immediately turned into the female version of Kevin the teenager and said “Mom, you’re so embarrassing. They’re really ugly, and they’re rubbish.”

My daughter would prefer to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, I’m more than happy to look at undressed men, but there’s something not quite right about sitting there with a 14-year-old watching a group performing naked apart from socks over their genitalia. But Susan is not alone in this thinking.

  • Her 13–year old friend Christine says : “I can’t stand all the manufactured bands like Westlife. I don’t like Geri Halliwell’s music either.”

  • Katie, also 14, points out : “I used to like the Spice Girls, but I can’t stand them now. I like punk bands like NOFX and Rancid. Slipknot are okay – they’re gross, but funny. I did like Robbie Williams, but he’s really annoying and Britney’s fake; her lyrics are boring.”

Our mother–daughter relationship is clearly going through a sticky patch. Im trying to figure out what's happening..Am I too slow? When Susan says "…their music is horrid..and very anti-establishment", I get worried. I ask her “ Friends, sweetie?” and Susan replies firmly : “No. Mother and daughter.”

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