You rude and so confronting! You think you know it all! You don’t want to heed to corrections! You get on your parents nerves all the time and the only thing that seems to make sense to you is your ideas and thoughts… All of these and many more are some of the nagging and complaints I was faced with in my teenager years and I kept wondering How am I rude? Can I not say how I feel? Oh, why can’t you understand me and my points? Can I not even have things my way? Am I in bondage or was I adopted? As a Naija Teen, you are continuously faced with complaints such as these and many more, and trust me, they can be so annoying. From majority of teenagers, some acts from the parents are so much unthinkable that they have no choice left than to rebel. Most times, it is not to get the parents angry or to be a bad child but simply because, they need to have this freedom and the best way they can show it is by standing up to their fears and seeming captivity.For parents too, it is a very tasking time of their lives as they are saddled with ensuring that you make the right choices in life and turn out being successful. What they fail to understand, is that, without an action, there can’t be a reaction.
Rebelling against one’s parents can come in various forms and shapes and levels. To African parents, being confrontational, unnecessarily angry, having mood swings, isolating one’s self are still considered to be on a manageable and minor level as compared to keeping late nights, smoking, becoming a prostitute, gay, lesbian or transgender, becoming a robber and engaging in so many other morally unacceptable activities. This second category can so give the parents heartache or even lead to dangerous illnesses for them.
In order to avoid such situations and for better understanding between teenagers and parents, on today’s segment of the Diary of A Naija Teen, we will be telling our parents 5 reasons an average Nigerian teenager rebels.
1. Parents’Strictness: Naija parents can be so strict, chai! When it comes to moral standards and values, Nigerian parents are notable but what they sometimes fail to understand is strictness doesn’t resolve things every time. Too much strictness maes communication and friendship between teenagers and their parents difficult. When parents are too strict, they force their teens obey rules every time and this not only damages their opinion and self-esteem but their freedom too. Teens regard independence to be their foremost requisite and so when they have parents that forbids and prohibits them from crossing the bars, the more they are restricted, the more they long to go over bar.
2. They are responding to their parents’ predicted style or system: Parents are most times quite predictable in their reactions to certain situations and, in a sense, teenagers have understood, known and mastered the automatic style or system. They know what the parents will respond with if they ask for something and so, if they need it badly, they get it without asking.
3. It is part of their development: there is no being on earth that has not undergone the teenage exuberance or has not rebelled at one point or the other. It just depends and varies as civilization and modernisation overtakes the society. The teen age is the point in one’s life where one feels one is matured enough to take care of one’s self, meanwhile, one still needs tutelage. This thought and perception so makes teenagers feels they know best and non-intentionally and intentionally, they act accordingly. they feel their parents are outdated and do not know the modernised way of doing things.
4. Parents’ Insensitivity: It is usually hard for teenagers to muster courage to talk to their parents about their feelings and needs. But Naija parents tend to be so insensitive to their teens’s feelings, especially if whatever the teen feels is not acceptable in the society, in the family or religiously. Teens displaying out-of-control behavior are sometimes due to a cry for help, for more guidance and attention than they’re currently getting or because they feel lost socially or psychologically. They may be struggling for acceptance, freedom, control and so many other things.
In the stead of rather working and walking the teen through such feelings and needs, Naija parents shun then, shout them down and many more. Parents don’t have to agree with teenagers situation every time but a feeling of intimacy, showing the child respect and making their feelings valid will go a long way. Teens who are handled this way have better ways of doing things father than rebel, they will rather communicate with their parents.
5. Peer Pressure and Modernisation: depending on the level of rapport that exists between teens and their parents, teenagers love to talk and open up to their friends and peers. Those are who are in their category and seem to understand what they are going through better. They also believe their peers more than they believe their parents and so, when they get advices that are different from their parents’, they want to try it out. This will, sooner or later, turn out to be a clash between them and their parents.After all said and done, actions lies both on the parents and teenagers to understand what works for each other and heed to ti. As parents, it is worthy to note that not all societal rules will be applicable to one’s teens and that the world is evolving and at such, so many things are becoming obsolete in parenting. Do well to study your teenagers, have a good rapport and treat them accordingly.
As for teenagers, you need to know that teenage exuberance will push you to want to do so many things, all you need do is don’t jump at things as they come. Sit and think if it is profitable for you to do – wisdom is profitable to direct. Whatever you mould yourself to be in these teenage years will leave huge imprints in your life, some redeemable and some, never redeemable. Read also: Diary Of A Naija Teen: 5 Honest Discussions Parents Should Have With Their Teens
A teenager once said, “My parents are overprotecting but I am not rebelling against them. That’s something I cannot do. But instead I get very depressed. I throw out my anger not in the manner of drinking, smoking, cutting and all such. I kept it all in…a result of depression. Lately I’ve been thinking of being alone is better. This depression is constantly lingering me and everyday when I woke up I don’t have the urge to wake up and do something. I lost interest on my hobbies too“. It doesn’t have to get to this level, it depends on the parents and the teenager as well. I hope the suggestions proffered in today’s Diary of A Naija Teen helps to get you as teenagers and parents together and better.
Till next week, stay happy and alive. If you have any story you need to share or you need advise, don’t forget to reach out on[email protected]See you!