To read about how this Relationship Talk series began, visit the post Z for Zest for Camaraderie in Marriage
We have two contributors on the blog today – Ramesh Babu, a director in a MNC and, father of one teenager and one more nearing the teens, and Dr. Dipali Krishna, a professor of humanities and a mother of two teenagers.
Beginning to parent a teenager and the subsequent changes it brings to your marital relationship and in the family can be a new, mixed experience. Let’s hear it from those who have just stepped into it.
Ramesh Babu says,
“A teenager ‘s presence in the family is kind of like a supervisor on the work floor. No more silly talks or chest thumping on our egos. Earlier such conflicts would easily escalate, but with my daughter in the equation, any spark is more or less immediately settled out!
From the Series: M for Midlife Reflections – Is he/she the right partner for you?
Mothers and fathers have different parenting styles. Mothers are more intimate and so they provide words of affection and affirmation to kids. They verbalize their care to connect emotionally. On the other hand, fathers seldom talk. Their actions tend to be challenging kids action in order to prepare and cope with real world. When it comes to teenager parenting, a teenager who goes through a significant transformation, both physically and mentally, they opt to move out of their childhood nurturing comfort from both parents. A boy or girl starts moving away from the comfort of parents. Simply the boy wants to develop his manliness and the girl is figuring out about herself!
A Daddy’s girl in her teenage moves away to bond more and spend a lot of time with other things like music, friends and her mother. It is said that daddy may not be able to emotionally connect with his teenage daughter – a over-generalized and stereotyped statement!
The father becomes protective (over protective mostly, with a lots of NO). This leads to loss of connect with the teenager. Contrary to this, a mother who was seen protective of her kids in their early stages suddenly opens up to be adventurous. They are seen to support of the teenagers. Especially with a female teenager!
From the Series: N for Nesting – Coming to terms…..at 40
There are certainly some visible changes in our marital bond now.
It seems like the teenager has pushed us with different priorities but then it has also brought in a lot of conversation on past memories to cherish leading to an increase in visible affection between us. Rather, respect for each other has become obvious. Priorities, comfort and convenience has changed; like, she shares a room with her daughter now.
One thing is sure – the future of a child is 100% with the parents. Ensuring enough time with kids is a must. Parents have to provide the right amount of liberty to explore and grow. But there should be necessary restrictions with reasoning. It is important for a child to hear NOs. We have to remove the sense of entitlement from them. Giving them all they want becomes counterproductive in their life, as they fail to accept failures gracefully. I believe in an almighty and his acumen. Guess, he does have a well-defined role for both the parents!”
Dr. Dipali Krishna says,
“Until last year, I would know where my son is out, with whom and for what. Today, I hardly get to recognize if he’s at home or outside. With teenage springing up, there is certainly a shift in the dynamics of parenting.
With my daughter too, I see how her world of interests has changed. She does talk to me about her friends and happenings, at least more than the son does. Yet, I understand somewhere in the background that they both are drifting away from our close, watchful eyes. In the beginning, it was alarming. But as to every stage of parenting, there was a shock and surprise element with teenage parenting after which the wave of acceptance came through me.
From the Series: O for Old, yet not too Old – The Want of a Companionship
With children now busy in their own worlds, there is less and less of family conversations and more and more of conversations between me and my husband. Earlier, our conversations were more towards whose parenting method was right and pointing out to who made more mistakes in child-rearing. However, today, we feel like parents – one parents – and not two separate parents. We feel it is a combined responsibility. Perhaps the reason is with children entering teenage, there comes in an increased responsibility and increased need to be their friends. And for some unknown fear and anxiety towards their well-being, my husband and I began to mutually agree on certain parental things. It now feels like my only trusted friend and go to person is my husband. And there I see how our bonding is actually strengthening, I must add – after years of complete focus on children.
When our kids were young, my husband and I assumed we’ll get more time for ourselves once they grow up. All that we wanted to do together, like playing badminton or a night-show, we had put off to our later years.
Now that our children are teenagers and that we have ample time than we did 15 years ago, we find it strange that we no longer have the interest to do whatever we wanted to do then. We are comfortable sticking to the routine of our days and by no means, we have the urge to turn once again to our younger forms.”
From the Series: P for Parting – The Woes of an Empty Nest
To all young couples, we would say, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’. As your kids grow up, let also your passion towards each other grow side by side. Don’t let the latter wait for the former.
To read more about how this series began, visit the post Z for Zest for Camaraderie in Marriage
More posts from the series:
You can find all the posts of the A to Z series on Marital Relationships here.
Header Image: Family Matters