lifestyle

Meet the modern teen: erratic, sensitive and extremely mood-driven.

The modern teen is a curious creature. Erratic, extremely sensitive and increasingly mood-driven, you will often find them ensconced in a world of their own. Mesmerised by an assortment of electronic devices, absorbed in video games and thumbing messages back and forth endlessly, all the while listening to an unfamiliar rotation of songs on Spotify or iTunes Radio.

Communicating with your young pubescent is more vital than ever, but now fraught with complications. The tables have turned. Where once your child would pester you twenty-seven times a day with innocent questions, wondering who chose the colour of stop signs and how long it takes to drive to the moon, you are now pestering your child for answers, desperately, eagerly. How was school today? Who did you hang out with? What are you learning at the moment? But deep down you know that this style of straight-out questioning is no longer working. The sullen teen simply shrugs off each attempt with a raised eyebrow, a humph, an “uh-huh”. Or, worst of all: the dreaded GOOD. Everything is suddenly good.

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nissan Pathfinder. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

The car is the chamber of conversation.

But all is not lost. The modern parent can still navigate within this new framework. It’s all about timing, and opportunity. When they are home from school and the desire to ask, “How was your day” is at its strongest, you must learn to resist. Smile. Kiss your young teen on the head and let them get on with their Instagramming. Feed them, sign all their school forms and don’t be offended by the closed bedroom door – allow them to enter their den of technology and friends and music, knowing you have other means of engagement.

You have the car. The chamber of conversation. Everything’s easier and smoother in the car. You can control the climate. You can subtly adjust the music level if your teen progresses beyond a “good” and forms actual sentences. You can view each other through the gentle buffer of the rear vision mirror, editing snarls down to mere eye-rolls. Things are instantly more civil and calm. And, as an added bonus, they can’t escape from you.

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There are a few important conversations that must be had with a young person who has started or is about to start high school. Eminent expert in this delicate field, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, says that teens facing high school might be scared of the unfamiliarity of their new environment, or worried about missing their old school friends and having to make new ones. Then once they have started there is the prospect of bullying, study and exam stress, peer pressure – the list goes on.

Teenagers issues are complex.

The issues are complex and detailed compared with primary school life. For those attending mixed schools, there’s the fact that the boys, who have up to this point not caused too much trouble other than asking silly questions in class and creating a dangerous cyclone of footballs and cricket balls in the centre of the yard – are about to get taller, hairier, and develop much deeper voices, while the girls will be gravitating to cross-legged circles of friends on the grass and discussing shaving their legs and graduating from crop tops to bras.

Your teen needs to have these discussions with you to air their concerns and questions, and the best place for that is definitely the car.

These conversation attempts will be more successful based on the following scientific formula (technically not based in science, and strictly speaking not a formula). Time in car divided by destination multiplied by mood plus or minus topic. In other words, pick your timing. Read the mood. Make sure the seriousness of the topic is weighted against the distance of the drive and the appropriateness of the destination.

And, if you hit a series of ‘goods’: wrong way, go back.

How do you approach important topics with your teen?

Celeb crushing isn’t just for the modern teen. Here’s who we’re blushing over, do you concur?

Nissan Pathfinder – The next generation family SUV.

Meet the Nissan Pathfinder, the next generation SUV designed for the modern family. Every detail has been meticulously considered to achieve a new level of luxury, style and comfort. From the modern, aerodynamic styling through to the genuinely inviting interior, the Pathfinder sets the benchmark in terms of comfort and versatility.

Features include:

  • 7 seats as standard.
  • EZ Flex™ seating system.
  • Tri-Zone automatic climate control.
  • Reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
  • 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
  • Pathfinder Hybrid powertrain option now available.

The Nissan Pathfinder is the ultimate 7-seat SUV for the modern family.

 

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