It is a universally accepted truth that adolescence is a difficult period of life, even more so for the parents than it is for the kids themselves. Frequent fighting over the most trivial of issues is one primary characteristic of every household with a teenager. Tantrums, groundings and shouting matches are frequent. So why do parents and their teenage kids fight so much ? One can always blame the hormones to begin with. Apart from the obvious, here are the top ten reasons why teens fight with their parents.
One major grouse for most teens is that their parents expect them to be home earlier than they’d like to be. Be it a late night party or a date that they are returning from, parents usually set what they consider a reasonable time limit for their wards. Equally usually, this doesn’t sit too well with their wards who often return late only to rebel against authority. What parents consider reasonable is often absurdly early for their kids. It is often difficult to reach a consensus on this one, with parents asserting that the curfew is imposed for safety and teens maintaining that they deserve more freedom. Curfew and time restrictions then become one of the main reason for fights.
9.Need for Speed
Teenage is a time when a lot of kids outgrow public transport and bicycles and learn to drive their own vehicles. The problems arise when parents, fearing the safety of their teens, often refuse to give them their own cars or bikes for independent use. Teens also grudge the fact that they are not allowed to drive without proper supervision by adults. Moreover, parents also fear the recklessness of some teens who tend to drive rashly in their new found independence for ‘thrills’. For these reasons, a lot of teens do not get their own cars or bikes or unrestricted access to family vehicles. This, of course, leads to more fights.
Unlike younger kids who are usually diligent and meticulous about completing their studies in time, teens are usually so busy exploring new possibilities that school work often takes a back seat. A dip in grades due to increasing difficulty level of school work, newer subjects, more socializing and simple carelessness are very common among teens. They resent the fact that parents try to impose curfews and set time aside for studying sessions. What is usually well meaning concern on the part of parents is construed as undue interference. Parents, when they try to impose studying rules and insist that their teens complete their homework and readings before heading out, attract resentment and this leads to inadvertent fights.
7. Alcohol and smoking
It is no secret that most people have had their first sip of beer while they were still in late teens. Teenage is the time when most youngsters begin experimenting with new stuff. A lot of it, like alcohol or cigarettes, is done in order to look cool. Underage drinking, however, is not an unimportant issue. And cigarettes are downright harmful for one’s health. Parents therefore worry about their kids drinking or smoking on the sly and this leads to more and more fights. Direct confrontations on matters like these often cause teens to lie and deny, which also leads to arguments.
6. Too much time on the phone
This is one complaint that majority of parents have. They worry that their kids are spending way too much time with their noses buried in their phones. But what with Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM, Skype, Instagram, Twitter and thousands of games all available at the click of a button, it is small wonder that teens spend so much time on their phones. The age of smartphones has ensured that kids put their smartphones above almost everything else. Parents, however, worry that teens spending too much time on their phones lose out on family time and real human interaction, besides harming their eyes. Their grouse is that their kids spend more time with their friends than with their family, and this leads to more arguments between the two. Teens usually prefer to stare at their phone than talk to their parents.
5. A poor diet
With teenage comes a lot of partying and eating out. Teenagers develop a taste for unhealthy but delicious fast food, much to the chagrin of parents who believe that a growing body needs proper nutrition. As cold drinks, burgers and pizzas replace wholesome, home cooked meals, parents worry. Moreover, teenage is a time when kids become more and more conscious of their weight and body image. To achieve the ‘ideal’ thin body type, girls often starve themselves and skip meals. Of course, this also leads to a lot of arguments between parents who try to convince their daughters that proper meals are more important than being thin, and girls who are swayed by the thin is beautiful media campaign.
4.Too much time alone
It is undeniably true that a lot of teenagers prefer to spend time alone in their room rather than with their family members. They try to shut their doors, plug in their headphones and even skip family meals in order to eat alone in front of their laptops. Teenage can be a confusing time, and teens often pull this no-show act when they are worried or simply because they like being alone while trying to figure stuff out. Alternatively, they spend more time with their friends than at home. Parents, for their part, do not like the decreasing presence they have in their teens’ lives. They try to force them out of their rooms and have forced conversations, not realizing that their kids will eventually outgrow the silence that is all part of growing up. Again, this leads to more shouting with kids maintaining that their parents don’t understand them.
3.Rules and regulations
Teenagers are known for being rebels without a cause. Maybe justifiably so. Any rules to them are an attempt to hold them down. They resent authority and try to break and bend rules as much as they can. While a lot of this is part of growing up and learning right from wrong, it does take a toll on parents and fights become inevitable.
Now this is one bone of contention that most teens hailing from from conservative families have. Whether it is shorts that are too short, necklines that plunge too much, jeans that reveal boxers or midriff baring crop tops, every parent has a list of clothes they consider inappropriate. Teenagers, who want the freedom to dress themselves without having a shrug to cover their shoulders or belts to pull their pants up every time they go out, argue on this count. Again, reaching an agreement on this issue is not easy, as teens maintain that asking them to cover up is nothing but sexism and parents countering it with the argument that man is a social creature and some clothes are just not socially appropriate.
Easily the number one reason for fights. Teenage relationships cause all sorts of fights because parents feel that their children are too young or too naive to date. Or they disapprove of their teen’s girlfriend or boyfriend. Or they are unhappy with the number of dates they go on or the time they return home. Or simply the realization that their little kids may be growing up. Dating leads to a lot of complications between parents and their teenagers.