As kids enter their teens, the amount of time they spend at home reduces as does their communication with parents. Family dynamics change and it appears that friends become more important than family. This, of course, isn’t really the case. There are a lot of stereotypes that surround the teenage years, but here are some simple things you can do to show your parents how much you really care for them.
1 Be honest, do not hide things: Your parents love you unconditionally. Communicate honestly with them and don’t hide things. Don’t be afraid of your parents reprimanding you. If something is bothering you, share it with them; your parents are likely to understand and help you better than most others ever will.
2 Take time out to spend with them: As young children, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your parents but as children grow into teenage years, they have too little time to spend with their parents. Talk to your parents about your day and theirs; go out for meals and movies together.
3 Take responsibility at home: You are as much a member of the household as your parents are, and you share equal responsibility. Keep your room clean; help yourself to whatever you need rather than asking others for it; help take care of younger siblings.
4 Be responsible with finances: Your parents work very hard to be able to make sure you have the best of everything. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have, respect and appreciate what your parents do for you and refrain from making wasteful expenditures.
5 Have fun moments at home: Don’t avoid home or lock yourself in your room the moment you get home. Staying home can be fun too. Engage in activities that can be enjoyable for the entire family-be it watching television, playing a game or simply sharing some laughs.
6 Do not stereotype parents: There is no such thing as a generation gap. What it is, instead, is a communication gap. Don’t have pre-conceived notions about your parents simply because ‘that’s the way parents are.’ Spend some quality time with them, they may surprise you.
7 Do not get stubborn with your demands: If you really want something, talk to your parents about it — have a mature discussion with them. Your parents don’t like saying ‘no’ to you, but if they do, they’re bound to have some very good reasons for it. Hear them out and respect their decision.
8 Give them space: This may come as a surprise to you but your parents’ lives don’t completely revolve around you. Give them some space and give them some time alone to themselves. They need the peace and quiet every once in a while.
9 Share some workload: Your parents not only have a lot of work to do but are probably coping with a great deal of stress as well. Share some of the workload and lighten their burden. Run some errands, do some household chores. Even small gestures on your part go a long way in easing your parents’ stress levels.
10 Be respectful: It’s great to be honest with your parents and it’s great to be on friendly terms with them, but that doesn’t mean you can scream and shout at or talk back to them. Your parents deserve to be treated with respect.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare