Parenting & Children's Health

Adolescent Sexuality and Parents' Anxiety

Written by Dr. Arun Kaaliannan Vangili and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

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A few days back, I met a worried gentleman in my office. His worry was about his “teenage” son, whom he suspects is “going down the wrong path.” The proof for this came when the boy got a tattoo in his arm without getting his father’s permission. My guess was that the boy had realized that he would not get the required permission if had asked and hence he chose to commit a lesser crime of not asking permission than defying orders. It was apparent that the father and son had been having a tussle on issues like haircuts, clothes, and facial hair for the past few months, and it only keeps worsening.

Adolescents have a need to explore and display their sexuality, which forms an essential part of their emerging identity. The media and popular culture and technology often determine the way this is done. The consensus and research on drug abuse and violence have shown that greater exposure to similar contents through media leads to the adoption of the same values and ideals in individuals.

Often one sees parents worried about messages posted on social media by their children. These displays often create tensions in the family. Our society’s attitude has one of ‘restriction’ than 'encouragement.' One would keep well to remember that it is as much about the adolescents as the parents.

These displays of adolescent sexuality often remind the aging parents of their own receding sexuality and often they struggle to come to terms with it. This creates anxiety and fear in them.

As for the gentleman and his son, few sessions of discussion about understanding adolescent psychology, the importance of watchful supervision with the father and discussion of health risks posed by tattoo needles to the son was enough to settle the issue. Adolescents need to make informed, responsible choices.

Consult a psychologist counsellor online to know more about adolescent psychology -->

Last reviewed at: 17.Dec.2018



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