Discipline among teenagers and particularly in the United States is indeed a social issue, given the level of undesired happenings resulting from lack of discipline, within this group. Parents, teachers and social activists have recognized the need for urgent reforms in an effort to bring in a sense of discipline among them. The advancement of knowledge and technology brings with it several advantages. But these can also provide unintended results upon their misuse. The accessibility of teenagers to such materials and technology, increase the risk of its misuse. Recently conducted research indicate that the part of the brain that responds to impulse and organized thinking does not mature till the age of twenty five. Excitation and mood are highly volatile in teens as the hormones affecting the brain's neurochemicals are very active. This is the period when the brain is not mature enough to take responsible decisions Unfortunately; it is also this period that teenagers take to newer habits and passions.
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Traffic crashes on the national roadways can rightly be described as the single biggest cause of death among teenagers in the US. With the number of teen driver deaths and injuries increasing phenomenally, the situation is so alarming that it is even being recognized as a national concern. Recent school shootings have become a concern among all who work with children and child issues. This state of affairs is mainly attributed to aggressive video games, movies, televisions and poor parenting. Movies motivate youth everywhere, and it is either unfortunate or hard luck that only negative aspirations like crime and violence are portrayed more, which are quickly grasped too. These violent crime scenes drives even adults to imitate them, driving them to be more prepared psychologically. The love to watch violence and crime is gradually enhanced in the children, who are drawn to the gun culture. In fact even the type of guns used in movies are looked with awe and admiration. The projection of vulgar sex in all forms of media, drive adolescents without a proper understanding of this subject. The occurrence of pregnancy, rape, sexual abuse etc. in teenagers result from improper propagation. Marketing managers do not think ethically in their attempts to sell their products. Most of them are not concerned of the association of their products with teens, and its possible misuse.
In their adolescence years, children experience greater psychological growth as they try to cope up with the associated physical and sexual developments, related to this period. Adolescents confront difficulty and conflict in adapting to the unexpected sudden rise in sexual and aggressive drives. Such changes bring a sense of confusion within them as they struggle to come to terms with their perception of the world around them. The physical development in adolescents affects their habits and interaction in several ways. When they reach mid-adolescence, (ages 14 to 15) their emotional and intellectual abilities are increased and they loosen their ties to their parents. The adolescents seek adventure and are willing to experiment different ideas. The individual projects his own set of beliefs and understandings and questions the validity of those set by parents or other grown-ups. The adolescents begin to take greater control of their education and similar quests, and exhibit a sense of responsibility
Adolescents may begin to feel embarrassed in exhibiting affection to the opposite sex parent. They begin to change their interaction with their opposite sex parent. For instance, an adolescent girl who is used to hugging and kissing her dad when he returns from office would now tend to shy away. The teens should not be forced to hug or kiss, and adults should not feel offended if their teen is not physically affectionate as before. Communication within the family is very crucial since it helps family members to convey their love and admiration towards each other. Unavoidable problems do arise in families and communication is perhaps the only way to get them resolved. Poor communication leads to unhappy family relationships like weak emotional bonding, excess family conflict and ineffective problem solving.
As children start going to school, they begin to spend lesser time with their parents. Parents are busy with their work and children too are busy with their school activities, leaving them with little time to interact. Teenagers like to talk only to willing listeners. They would not like to converse with parents who don't seem interested in listening. They would like to engage in serious talks, than just hearing "clean your room" or "look at me when I am talking to you". There are several things which teens would like to discuss with their parents like their future, current affairs, emotional issues and about parents themselves. Sometimes teens would engage in arguing which helps them defend their position and also contribute to constructive learning. When teens are engaged in decisions, it helps to create a balance of power and control. When teens get some control, they realize that they are important. A balance between teen control and parent control is needed rather than an absolute control. When a child makes requests, each request must be listened carefully for more details. A quick and blunt 'no' will only aggravate problems.
Youth are influenced more by what their parents do rather than what their parents say. When parents expect children to keep them informed of where they are, when they would be back and how to reach them; the parents need to be a role model for such conduct. They should provide the same information to their children, much as they expect it from them. Parents can help their adolescents to grow up only when they are aware of their own growth. Each and every living person is growing, changing and developing. In such a scenario, it is quite normal for any middle-aged adult not to recognize teenage problems. But people who are aware of their own growth are in a better position to realize the difficulties of the teens in their growing process.
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