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The argument is over

It would appear that if your teenaged children are saucy with you, they may turn out quite well in later life.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2012 22:34 IST
Hindustan Times

If you find it extremely difficult to handle your rebellious teenager who seems to argue with you over the simplest of things, don’t fret and fume and torment others with your daily backyard war stories — instead, be grateful about that your teenager has a mind of her own.

According to researchers from the University of Virginia, her nature of arguing is a sign of confidence and will only make her more responsible when she leaves the cocooned life at home and comes face-to-face with the big bad world. Understandably, most harried parents would not agree with this line of thought but the researchers feel that parents should actually actively consider starting rows with their teenagers just to hone their youngsters’ skills at handling peer pressure.

In the study, the scientists observed and made audio and video recordings of 150 13-year-olds arguing with their mothers. Three years later, they quizzed the same teenagers about their lives and experiences with drug and alcohol. According to the study results, those teenagers who were known to argue with their parents were more likely to have refused both. The study, however, did not look into what kind of impact such rebellious children can have on parents.

It is quite possible that, unable to handle such indiscipline, most would have gone off the rails themselves to the extent of spoiling their day and also that of their partner. But then whoever took moaning seniors seriously?

However, none of the study results are new: parents have always known that a little bit of autonomy given to children during their growing up years endows them with the self-confidence to decide for themselves the path they want to choose in life. But then it is the parents themselves, in so many cases, who never want their children to grow up. After all, letting go is never an easy decision.

First Published: Jun 21, 2012 21:15 IST