Strong familial relationships are vital to teenagers

December 7, 2017 — by Leo Cao

There is a stereotype that teenagers scream, slam doors and are addicted to social media. Although this stereotype is not universally true, many of us do tend to distance themselves from our families in high school as we seek to establish our independence and identity.

This also means familial relationships change in significant ways through adolescence. Family members are the people expected to nurture and guide children when they are young. But this one-way power relationship slowly becomes more equal as the years go by.

This is not to say family becomes unimportant to teens. Most teenagers want to spend time with their parents and siblings, share ideas and have fun. They might seem less communicative and unwilling to cooperate, but teenagers and parents should make an active effort to remain connected.

During the teen years, families provide psychological security. Peer influences and other relationships often cause stress. No matter what else is happening in their lives, good familial relationships contribute to self-confidence, optimism and identity.

Even though many young adults will not admit it, mature family members’ life experiences and knowledge are valuable. Without a strong relationship, it is difficult to pass on this wisdom.

According to a family relationships project by Penn State, supportive family members can vastly reduce a teen’s risk of alcohol and drug use as well as problems like depression. When youth reported that they believed that their parents knew about their whereabouts and activities, they engaged in fewer risky behaviors. Close relationships also encourage their desires to do well academically.

There are numerous ways to build positive family relationships. Regular family meals is a great way for members to share their thoughts and events that are occurring in their lives. This also means that the entire family should interact together without the interruption of smartphones.

Families should also aim to set aside time for outings. Both these activities can continue to build a strong familial bond that are integral to both students’ and families’ well-being.

Throughout high school, many teenagers break apart from their families, but most do not lock themselves inside their rooms every day. By continuing to work together, family members can better understand each other and maintain strong relationships.

 

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