This letter is strictly for parents who have teen aged children. so you think you have a big rebellious problem on your hands? You think whatever you do, it is not enough for your child? Your child has come under the influence of today's bad world and that he\she has forgotten all that you taught him\her? Here i have listed the reasons for the relationship strain from the point of view of a teenager.( yours truly being one, has made these observations from personal experience and those of her peers)
First of all you have to know that when you were in college it was probably the mid-seventies and this is " tees saal baad" . so while you never went out for movies with your friends, you never bunked lectures, you never had cell phones...et al,so what?, just because you did things in a certain way does not make it imperative for your child to do the same.You have your own views about a certain matter, fine, but please don't snap at your child if he\she chooses to look at it in a differrent way and does it differently.
Your child is not like you. however strong the resemblance, you cannot take away their identity. If you forbid them to do something,( like having a permanent tattoo is taboo, smoking is injurious to health and so on) give enough reasons to convince them beyond doubt because they listen to their friends an awful lot more than they do to you. You have to be reasonable and hear their side out too. you tell them they are supposed to do something something because you tell them to, they'll argue, become rebellious and do it behind your back anyway. Oh, and emotional blackmail is one sure thing to make them lose respect for you.Please don't generalise statements like today's youth is self-centered and inconsiderate, because that is unfair and untrue. Most of the volunteers in various social organisations are youngsters.
Lastly, treat your child with respect. They may not have become what you dreamt for them, but that does not mean they will not make you proud. An army man is just as honourable as a doctor or an engineer or a chartered accountant. Over-expectations put unnecessary pressure on them and comparison with peers will only make your child jealous , distant and bitter and lower their self esteem. If you want to find faults with them, you also have to appreciate them "sincerely" when they do something good. Most importantly, trust your child and tell them so. You can gain their trust by telling them a little about yourself when you were their age, (but not in a preachy way), the problems you faced, the mischief you made.. as you would to your friend and they in turn will tell you what they are feeling and how they are coping ( but you need to accept it that they won't share everything with you). I'll take your leave now. Just think about what i have written before dismissing it as crap. and of course you are welcome to debate your views with me. But always remember, if you want your child to grow up and become independent, you must allow them to do so.
Yours youthfully,(hee hee)