4 Oct 2012

Puberty Blues

Chiko rolls, fish and chips, wrapped in news paper, ham steaks topped with rings of pineapple. The days when being called a "mole"were the harshest words spoken between friends, and who could forget the heartbreaking line "your dropped".

It was different back then, life was much easier.
Was it ?
Being a teen today is more traumatic, or so we are told.
Is it really ?

I wasn't going to watch the TV series, I didn't really want to be transported back in time, after all, with raising four teenage boys of my own at the moment, that alone is enough to make me feel as though I am living in the middle of my own "Puberty Blues" show, but watch I did (really couldn't help myself) and I, like so many other Aussies, got sucked right in.

After watching the series, and reflecting back on my own teenage years, I began to wonder how much different being a teen now days really is.
I cant see such a huge difference between teen issues today and yesteryear to be honest, I just think that today's teens are a lot more aware and much less naive then we were, they seem to grow up a lot faster, and are a lot less innocent, and there are many factors that have helped contribute to this.
The media, and social media are predominant features of our lives these days (especially teens) and I believe that both families and schools  are more open to discussion, resulting in more communication between adults and teens. It's these factors that have helped bring issues such as drug and alcohol use and teen pregnancies to the forefront, and unlike the teens of yesteryear, today's teens have no shame in discussing these issues, the majority of topics such as these were "taboo" when I was a teen, and discussions about sex were a BIG no, no.

It's great for teens to have an open communication line with their parents, I certainly hope that I have made it easy for my boys to be able to come to me and openly have discussions about anything that they feel they need to know and ask, I know that sometimes approaching a parent about certain topics can be down right embarrassing and often awkward, when I was growing up, I found it very hard to approach my parents on certain topics, and this is where I believe teens today have been able to gain more confidant knowledge on the ups and downs of becoming an adult.

Communication and understanding are the keys to an open relationship with your teen, two things that sadly lack in some families. Puberty is a hard time, and being able to lean on someone to help you through can make it a wonderful (although still difficult) experience.
At the end of the day, teens will still be teens, and just like the TV show portrayed, each teen will react to different situations in their own unique way, parents can only do so much to support and guide their teens, in the end the choices that they make come down to themselves and all we as parents can do is be there to give our love, support and understanding.

If you have a teen or teens in your home, I wish you luck, it can be a bumpy ride for all involved, but I ask you please to be open and understanding, if you feel that you are reaching your wits end (and believe me you will not be alone there) take a step back and think about how you were at their age, and just maybe you will see that your teen is just a reflection of you at the same age.

*Sigh* Puberty Blues, a part of life that we all go through, that cant be ignored but with the right tools can be a journey of joy and enlightenment for all !!

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