Департамент Образования города Москвы
Северо-Западное окружное управление образования
Государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение гимназия № 1538
Общероссийский фестиваль исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся «Портфолио ученика»
Тема исследования: «Взаимоотношения подростков и родителей. Проблемы и решения». “Teenagers’ Relationship with Their Parents.
Problems and Solutions.”
Автор: Харабрина Татьяна Васильевна, 9 «В» класс
Руководитель работы: Кузнецова Татьяна Евгеньевна,
учитель английского языка
Москва 2013 г.
Teenager problems and ways to solve them.
Media and technology
Non- presence of a life goal
Alcoholism and drug
How do teenagers solve their problems?
Instructions for setting of a life goal
Helping teenage insomnia
 Teen Insomnia: causes and consequences
 Treatments for Insomnia
 Social Networking Site Users
 Top ten tips to keep teens safe on social networks
Every teenager has a problem. There is no doubt about it. As any parent of a teenager knows that discipline can be a difficult and confusing issue, of course a teenager also knows what good behavior is and which is the right way to comfort and make their parents happy. Discipline isn’t about punishment; it’s about helping people in developing responsibility. This may be one of the common problems of a teenager, in which the teenager thinks that the punishment is for something else. Here they start disobeying their parents, which creates problems.
It’s really a shame on us to lie to ourselves and not to care about anything in life and consider our parents like a machine with no time to do their own business. Let’s ask ourselves, why do teenagers feel anger when their family punishes them? In other words, what is going on in the world to see that huge gap between family and their teenagers? In this project, I’ll try to pick out some of the problems between teenagers and their parents and find reasons for this bad behavior in which teenagers treat their parents and also provide some possible solutions for them.
The aims of my project are:
To fish out some problems which teenagers and their parents face nowadays
To analyze the causes of the main problems
To work out possible solutions to the problems and give the teenagers and their parents some advice.
The hypothesis of the project:
Media and technology cause some problems in the relationships between teenagers and their parents.
The urgency of the project:
Never has a generation gap been as wide as it is today, with parents having very little understanding of the opportunities and the risks involved with the digital environments their children are growing up in.
The object of study:
I investigated the influence of digital technology on health and mind of our students and their relationships with their parents.
Methods of the research:
The practical importance:
The materials of the project can be used at the English lessons. The advice can help our students to use the Internet safely, get rid of insomnia and get on well with their parents.
I’ll try to arise some of the problems between teenagers and parents and find reasons for the bad behavior in which teenagers treat their parents and also provide some possible solutions for them.
Teenager Problems and Ways to Solve Them.
Media and Technology.
There are a lot of reasons for the problems that happen between teenagers and parents. But the biggest ones are media and technology, where child and teenager can make their secret life; also, with technology, the internet becomes their new father and guide so that many teenagers are not close to their family and remember them only at the time of needing money. It’s due to the adults who dive into their business and forget children and teenagers, and let them in front of that wolves’ world without any defence. The digital generation gap is the result of the extremely rapid rise of personal computing, the Internet, mobile applications, and coming next, biotechnology. Never before in the history of our species have we been faced with a situation where each living generation is focused around a different technology platform.
Each generation is out of touch with the means of production and consumption of the other generations. The result is an increasing communications gap between the generations: They use different platforms. And not surprisingly the inter-generational transmission of knowledge, traditions, cultural norms and standards is not operating like it used to. In fact it may be breaking down entirely.
Many of the cultural and social stresses making headline news are related to the digital generation gap. For example, the increasing growth of cyberbullying is the result of parents and teachers being totally out of touch with the mobile world that kids live in today.
Parents and teachers are so out of the loop technologically, compared to kids today, that they are literally unable to see what is going on between them, let alone do anything about it.
It’s no wonder that kids are running wild online, “sexting,” cyberbullying, and cheating in school. There are few adults, and little to no adult-supervision, where they spend their time online keeping order. What’s the resolution to the problems that grow bigger day after day?
Every generation’s children complain bitterly that their parents just don’t understand them, with their parents muttering about how they did things better in their day. But never has a generation gap been as wide as it is today, with parents having very little understanding of the opportunities and the risks involved with the digital environments their children are growing up in (See Supplement ,).
2.2. Parents’ Behaviour
A lack of understanding of the risks and dangers involved often results in two extremes in response from parents, neither of which is ideal. On the one hand parents might bury their heads in the sand because of the apparent technical complexity and leave their children to fend for themselves in the face of some very real dangers, and navigate important rites of passage unsupported and unassisted.
Or, alternatively, a parent might over react because they don’t understand the dangers involved and simply ban all things digital. Which not only leads to unnecessary conflict with the child and cuts them off from their social circle, but also disadvantages them in their adult life and careers, due to lack of experience communicating in a digital environment.
Parents have to educate themselves to understand both the opportunities and the dangers associated with digital communication technology in order to better guide their children and protect them from harm.
2.3. Non- presence of a Life Goal
Besides media and technology, there are other problems too. Another great problem is the non-presence of a goal in their life. Teenagers need to feel free and independent, so it is good for parents to understand this situation and try to make a good relationship between them and their teenagers. This good relationship will help them to be close to their teenagers. Generation gap is the major reason today why parents and children are moving away from each other. As we all know, the environment has changed, so has the life style and with that changes the mind of children. Today’s generation doesn’t like others interfering in any of their personal matters, they don’t like parents ordering them, and if they try and tell them what’s wrong for them, they misbehave with their parents. The question arises that, what is the reason behind all this. It is the parents’ mistake or is it cause of the generation gap. Generation gap is basically created by the people themselves. They don’t talk to their children and share their own points of views with the children. The point is that the parents are just so busy with their work and jobs that they don’t have time for their family and their children. And they realize it when there has a huge distance between the kids and the parents. The point is if parents give their children some time from their busy schedule then there would be no such problem. At times you need to act as a friend to your children in order understands them more nicely. When kids and parents are unable to make them agree with each other then this situation leads them to the state of disappointment. As a result of this situation kids avoid to talk to their parents and parents quench that their kids do not listen to them. Kids do not consider their parents in any matter and parents in certain situations leave their kids with their own good and bad while some situations lead both the parents and kids to the states of frustration and aggravation.
2.4. Alcoholism and Drug
Another major problem is alcoholism and drugs. Some teenagers experiment with alcohol and other drugs. Problems with alcohol and other drugs are occurring at an earlier age than ever before. Children today commonly have their first alcohol-drinking experience at 12 years of age, in contrast to 13 to 14 years of age in previous generations. They have such problems as poor school performance, trouble with their parents, or criminal behavior. Recent research has shown that beer is now the drink of choice for many teenagers. Alcohol damages the health of teenagers as well as disturbing their behavior. Drinking and the after-effects of drinking impair concentration, learning and performance at skilled tasks, and induce irritability, hostility and aggression. A person who begins to use alcohol or other drugs at an early age is very likely to become seriously dependent on them. Alcohol abuse is a major problem for teenagers as a group, including the added possibility of moving on to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Alcohol and other drugs are also involved in a large portion of teenage crimes nowadays.
What are the causes and risk factors of teen alcoholism?
Family risk factors for teenagers developing drinking problems include low levels of parent supervision or communication, family conflicts, inconsistent or severe parental discipline, and a family history of alcohol or drug abuse. Individual risk factors include problems managing impulses, emotional instability, thrill-seeking behaviors, and perceiving the risk of using alcohol to be low. Girls who drink, as well as teens who begin drinking prior to 14 years of age and those whose mothers have drinking problems, are more likely to develop alcoholism. Teen risk factors for alcoholism differ a bit between the 14- to 16-year-old and 16- to 18-year-old age groups, in that 16- to 18-year-olds tend to be less likely to drink in excess when they have a close relationship with their mothers ( See Supplement ).
Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol abuse in teenagers include lying, making excuses, breaking curfew, staying in their room, becoming verbally or physically abusive toward others, having items in their possession that are connected to alcohol use (paraphernalia), the smell of alcohol on their breath or body, mood swings, stealing, and changes in friends.
Replacing fluids that are lost as a result of the increased urination associated with drinking is often used to treat alcohol intoxication. Doctors frequently use fluids that contain sugars for that purpose.
Also, there is a health problem that teenagers face which some doctors have discovered. It’s insomnia in teenagers, which is being reported with increasing frequency. Doctors acknowledge that it’s a real problem for some teenagers these days, just being unable to sleep at night. What causes insomnia in teenagers? There’s certainly the lifestyle that teenagers adopt, which is probably the same as it always used to be. They stay up late at night, especially on the weekend, and then are unable to get up early during the week. It’s not uncommon for them to sleep at lunchtime or immediately after school, which makes the problem of not being able to sleep at night worse. They also end up sleeping most of the weekend to try and make up for all the sleep they lost during the week. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. The danger is that this can become a pattern, almost like jet lag, where your cycle of sleep adjusts itself completely out of the normal context and your body tries to tell you it’s time to go to sleep, when in fact it’s not at all. It can take weeks for a teenager to get back into the right sleep habits and recover from insomnia. The problem is that there is never enough time in between weekends for a proper sleep pattern to be formed. Other common causes of insomnia in teenagers are anxiety and depression. It’s a fact that many teenagers are having to struggle with just about everything! It can be one of most difficult times of our lives, our adolescent years. Whether it’s to do with friends, family, or school, there are almost an unlimited number of reasons why a teenager could be anxious or depressed. Unavoidably, this anxiety and depression is going to lead to sleep problems. (See Supplement ).
So teenagers aren’t getting the sleep they need, that’s fairly normal these days. Where the problem starts is when teens find they can’t switch off in the limited time they do have to sleep.
Typically teens need 8 1/2 or more hours per night. With today’s hectic lifestyles that’s hardly possible unless they go to bed quite early. Unfortunately the sleep hormone melatonin is produced later at night in teens than it is for kids and adults, making going to sleep early nearly impossible. Getting up in the morning is very hard and some teens struggle to make it through the day.
There are other problems too, like abuse, peer pressure, and smoking, which should also be considered.
2.6. How do Teenagers Solve Their Problems?
Well, it’s like trying to break a really bad habit, but harder. Look at it this way. Is it really hard to break a habit you have been doing for the last four years? It’s a tough choice, and only you and fate can decide what happens in the future. Will it still be bad-boy stuff, or will you settle down and study, work, and be one of those prissy little angels? Which one would YOU choose? From this we can understand that it’s not easy for a teenager to solve his problems. Teenagers solve their problems in any way they can. They go to friends, family, councilors, helplines, and magazines. How do teenagers solve their problems though? Well, they listen to advice from others, yet they have to choose which path to follow and who to trust. Not all advice is great advice. They also take drastic actions and spend hours listening to their parents and following their words. What answers do teenagers get? Some answers are helpful; some are not. To receive answers, teenagers go to places where they can find help and, fortunately, the answers do solve the problems. You can receive answers from parents, friends, teachers, and helplines. Some answers from parents are:
“Just calm down” “Ignore it and it’ll go away” “Tell it to me step-by-step” “Don’t worry”
Are these useful answers? Of course it depends on what type of problem it is. Small problems can be dealt with, but what about problems like drugs, smoking and alcohol?“What! You must stop this matter” “You actually did this to us?”“Haven’t we taught you anything?”
Those words hurt them a lot, which makes them think
that they don’t have parents and no one is there to look after them. They start to create more problems than
before. So parents should also know how to face and communicate with their teenaged child to not make a small problem get bigger and bigger. So in my opinion, not only should teenagers consider their parents, but also parents have to consider their children.
2.7. The Research
T To help with this research, I surveyed 40 teens from our school on various aspects of their sleep and technology use and asked them 10 questions:
1. Have you got a computer connected to the Internet?
a) Yes b) No
2. Do your parents let you use the Internet?
a) Yes b) No
3. How often do you use the Internet?
a) Every day b) 1-2 times a week c) Never
4. What do you usually do on the Internet?
a) Use social networks b) Find useful information c) Download films and music Play online games
5. Do your parents control your time on the Internet?
a)Yes b) No
6. Do they approve your surfing the net?
a) Yes b) They don’t care c) No
7. Do you have any arguments about the computer with your parents?
a) Yes b) No
8. Do you feel tired after the work on the computer?
a) Yes b) No
9. Have you ever had sleep problems?
a) Yes b) No
10. How often do you go to bed after 11 o’clock?
a) Usually b) Sometimes c) Never
I’ve analyzed the students’ answers and got the following results:
All the students have got Internet at home and most parents let them surf the Net.
80% of teenagers use the Internet every day and only 3% don’t use it at all.
Great number of students communicate in social networks, play games, download music and films and find useful information.
Surprisingly, that 31% of parents don’t control their children’s time on the computer and 35% do it from time to time.
About 52% of parents don’t care their surfing the Net.
About a half of students have arguments with their parents concerning the computer.
Most of students don’t realize the tiredness when they work on the computer.
Almost a half of the students (45%) have had sleep problems.
What was interesting though, the most students (86% of my sample) said that they stayed up late because of technology. This could mean that they surf the Internet, text someone on their phones or just watch TV.
In this chapter I’ve discovered the main problems which our teenagers face. They spend a lot of time on the computers that cause arguments with their parents and lock of sleep. I am going to suggest some solutions to these problems and give some instructions to teenagers and their parents.
2.8. Suggestions 1. Teenagers should try to do what their parents tell them and not do what their parents dislike.2. On the other hand, parents should also know how to react with their children in the best way.3. Teenagers like to be free and independent in their life, so it is good for parents to understand this situation and try to make a good relationship between them and their teen-agers.4. Teenagers face many problems, but they are reluctant to discuss their problems with their parents; they have to learn that they can’t find anyone better than their parents to discuss their problems with.5. In case of insomnia in teenagers, it is important for them to get into a regular routine with their sleep, in the same way that anyone else does. If they can establish a habit, most of the sleep problems will disappear.6. When teenagers need something like money, they should not steal from parents. This will make their parents act with them in an uncomfortable way. It’s better to ask for them. If they refuse, the teenager has to accept that refusal, which will make the parents feel more proud of their child.7. Parents should not forget that their children still need them and, underneath it all, care about their opinions. If parents understand and accept that some conflict is inevitable, the child would be better prepared for it.8. Parents should not ignore experimentation with alcohol and drugs in the hope that their teenage son or daughter will somehow learn about the risks involved or outgrow his or her drug-related behavior. Parents should talk to their children about the risks of alcohol and other drug abuse, emphasizing the very serious dangers of drinking and driving and the health hazards involved.9. Both have to try to reduce the animosity between them and start a relationship of love and respect, which I hope every teenager and parent can find.
2.9. Instructions for Setting of a Life Goal
Talk to your teenager about the issue of goal-setting. Ask him about his ambitions and listen seriously to what he says. Try to separate dreams from goals. Lots of teens want to be famous. This is understandable in a culture preoccupied with celebrities, but it can also stand in the way of realistic goals. Have an honest discussion about this with the teen, asking him why he thinks so many young people aspire to become famous.
Ask the teen to think about where he wants to be in five years time, then ask him to write down five things he has to do this year to help him achieve this ambition. Ask him to think about a few small goals he could set for the next week. Discuss other ambitions, such as passing a driving test or achieving a sports award.
Listen to what the teenager says, and take him seriously. He may say, for instance, that he does not believe in planning; he prefers to be spontaneous and deal with opportunities and events as they crop up. Do not argue with him or say that he is wrong. This is a valid approach that has worked for some people. Talk to him about the benefits and drawbacks of goal-setting versus this more laid-back approach.
Ask the teenager about the people he admires; this can often be revealing. Talk about historic figures that he finds interesting. Really listen to him, and make sure that it is his goals you focus on. Make sure you are not imposing your own ambitions on him. Help him to focus on the successes of those people he admires, and how they succeeded.
2.10. Helping Teenage Insomnia
Maintain a regular bedtime schedule.
Avoid excessive time in bed.
Avoid taking naps.
Use the bed only for sleeping.
Do not watch the clock.
Do something relaxing before bedtime.
Make the bedroom as quiet as possible.
Avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine within 12 hours of bedtime
Exercise moderately, regularly, and not within 4 hours of bedtime.
Avoid going to bed hungry (See Supplement ).
We have seen that it’s not easy for a teenager to solve his problems and that, for every problem, the same solution is not possible. The four major problems of teenagers that I have discussed here are media and technology, non-presence of a life goal, alcohol and drug abuse, and insomnia in teenagers. Moreover, I have also paid attention to the incorrect way in which some parents treat their teenagers when teenagers want to discuss their problems with them. So it’s very important for parents to know the right way in which their teenaged children should be treated. Whatever the teenagers do, the parents should not consider them a curse to their life. Being a teenager is not something bad because it is, in my opinion, the best period of one’s life and all our good times are spent in this period.
Нартова-Бочавер С. Психология личности и межличностных отношений. – М.: Из-во ЭКСМО-Пресс, 2001
Attwell, P., and Battle, J. (1999). «Home Computers and School Performance.» Information Society 15:1–10.
Bracey, G. W. (1982). «Computers in Education: What the Research Shows.» Electronic Learning 2:51–55.
Raymond, J. (2010, February 7). The Health Impact of High Tech.
Watt, D., and White, J. M. (1999). «Computers and Family Life: A Family Development Perspective.»
 Teen Insomnia: causes and consequences
 Treatments for Insomnia
Guide to Behavioural Treatments for Teen Insomnia
Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
Create a peaceful setting at bedtime.
Get a full night’s sleep every night. Staying up late for any reason breaks up natural sleep rythms.
Avoid caffeine or medications containing stimulants e.g. bronchodilators
Don’t try to sleep when you are too hungry or too full. Eat a few hours before sleep.
Avoid any strong exercise in the five or six hours leading up to bedtime.
A dark, quiet, slightly cool bedroom aids sleep
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
All recreational drugs drain energy and reduce sleep efficency.
 Social Networking Site Users
Nine- to 17-year-olds report spending almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spend watching television. Among teens, that amounts to about 9 hours a week on social networking activities, compared to about 10 hours a week watching TV. Students are hardly passive couch potatoes online. Beyond basic communications, many students engage in highly creative activities on social networking sites — and a sizeable proportion of them are adventurous nonconformists who set the pace for their peers.
96% of those with online access have engaged in ‘some form’ of social networking.
 Top Ten Tips to Keep Teens Safe on Social Networks