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Anu Krishna  |1047 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Feb 07, 2023

Anu Krishna is a mind coach and relationship expert.
The co-founder of Unfear Changemakers LLP, she has received her neuro linguistic programming training from National Federation of NeuroLinguistic Programming, USA, and her energy work specialisation from the Institute for Inner Studies, Manila.
She is an executive member of the Indian Association of Adolescent Health.... more
Asked by Anonymous - Feb 02, 2023Hindi

Hi Anu, my teenage son has been acting weird since the last few months. He has been caught lying and smoking after school hours. He has bunked school and been spotted by a friend but when I casually checked on him he lied that he is at school. I don't know how to address this. I feel like I don't know my son anymore

Ans: Dear Anonymous,
Teenage time is the most confusing time for children and parents alike. And with the digital age, it's only getting tougher. Dealing with butter fingers, yet being firm with them, works at times and doesn't at other times.
If this behaviour change of his is sudden, something could have triggered it.
Check points:
- What is the company of friends that he keeps?
- How is the environment at home? Peaceful and loving OR Restless and agitated?
- What is the relationship that he shares with either of his parents?
- Is the channel of communication at home such that he can share anything?
- Is there any pressure on academic performance from home or school?
- Has there been any instance around him or with him that has been emotionally draining? Like a loss of a loved one or a friend?

Do go over this list and be spot on while answering them. It will allow you to get to the source of the problem rather than just focus on his behaviour. Instead of reprimanding him for his behaviour, watch for it closely while you get to the source of it all.
If it's challenging to go through this all by yourself, please without any delay seek the help of a professional who specifically works with adolescents and adolescent behaviour. Be compassionate through the process as he needs both his parents while transitioning back. It is worrisome, I fathom it, but he needs you on his side and not against him.
So, do the right thing and act immediately.
All the best!

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Rishta Guru  |7 Answers  |Ask -

Rishta Guru - Answered on Feb 13, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Feb 13, 2024Hindi
My 14-year-old lied about going to a friend's house and snuck out to attend a party without permission. He also recently admitted to experimenting with vaping. I'm feeling hurt, disappointed and scared. How can I set clear boundaries and help him make responsible choices?
Ans: Hello. As a parent, I can understand your hurt, disappointment and fear.

It's natural to feel betrayed when your child deceives you and engages in risky behaviour.

Here are some steps you can take to set clear boundaries and help your 14-year-old make responsible choices:

1. Talk about the lies and sneaking out

Once you've calmed down, initiate a conversation without yelling or shaming. Explain how his actions have affected you and why trust is crucial in your relationship.

Set consequences. Grounding or restricting technology access are some options. Be clear about the duration and expectations.

Encourage him to express his feelings and motivation for sneaking out. Listen actively without judgment and validate his emotions.

Emphasise safety. Address the dangers of unsupervised parties and explain why knowing his whereabouts is important for his safety and your peace of mind.

2. Address the vaping

Stay informed. Educate yourself about the risks of vaping, its health impacts, and potential addiction.
Have an open conversation. Discuss the dangers of vaping openly and calmly. Share your concerns and listen to his reasons for trying it.

Set clear expectations. Clearly state your disapproval about vaping. Explain the consequences of continuing, emphasizing both health and disciplinary considerations. Ask him to stop doing it.

Let him know you're there to help him quit the habit. Explore resources like hotlines, support groups or therapists specialising in teen substance abuse.

3. What you can also do

Have a safe space for open communication where he can express his thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Regular, open communication builds trust and allows you to guide him through challenges.

Establish clear expectations for behaviour, homework, chores and technology use. Discuss them openly and ensure he understands the reasoning behind them.

Acknowledge and praise responsible choices and positive behaviour. Reinforce positive actions to encourage him to make good decisions.

Teach him healthy coping mechanisms for stress, peer pressure and difficult emotions. Encourage activities like sports, hobbies or creative outlets.

Lead by example. Be mindful of your own behaviour and choices. Teens learn by observing so be conscious about how you behave.

Remember, this process takes time and patience. Be consistent, stay calm and be open to working together with your son to build trust and encourage responsible choices. If you feel overwhelmed or need additional support, seeking professional guidance from a family therapist or counsellor can be very helpful.

..Read more

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