Challenge for parents

Let go and give support at the same time

It is important that parents do not understand this behavior as a personal affront, advises the psychologist. Mothers and fathers must learn to let go of their children and still give them a hold. However, adults should not simply give in to arguments.

Furthermore, they must show the adolescents limits, because excessive tolerance and too loose rules do not provide a basis for friction and arguments. "But if conflicts are not resolved, the teens can not try and assert themselves, " psychologist Zimmermann is convinced.

Between provocation and arrogance

If there are not enough points of friction, adolescents seek other ways of provoking them to explore their limits - for example, lack of commitment at school or consumption of alcohol or drugs.

"The challenge for the parents is to be able to distinguish between paternal arrogance and clear border crossings with patience, " says the director of the Catholic Educational and Family Counseling Center in Cologne. To find the right level here, it can help to communicate with friends whose children are the same age. "If a teenager comes drunk from a party, this can be a one-time slip-up, " says Zimmermann.

Do not be afraid of professional help

It becomes more difficult if this is repeated or if pubescent people shed themselves off over several months. "Then parents should seek professional help, such as an educational counseling center, " says the psychologist. This is also true when adolescents are under pressure and anxiety, are violent or are taking drugs.

J1 investigation

Important information about the state of development and about conspicuous behavior of the adolescents is also the so-called J1 examination at the pediatrician. As part of this study, 12 to 14-year-olds will be reviewed for their development status. The young people are subjected to a complete check: In addition to a urine test, the body mass index is determined. With appropriate family history, the doctor initiates additional blood tests. In addition, important data on diseases, eating habits, school performance, vaccination status, physical activity, social and addictive behavior, but also on sexual experiences are recorded.

Finally, there is an advisory conversation. The teenagers themselves decide whether they want to run this alone or in the presence of their parents. "The adults should prepare their children for the visit to the doctor that they are physically examined, because in puberty, the feeling of shame is very large in the adolescents, " says psychologist Zimmermann.

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