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How Teens Strain the Family

by Tiffany Raiford

You might look forward to having a little more freedom and a lot less stress when your kids become teens and can suddenly do more for themselves. However, the teenage years are often stressful. Parenting teens can place a lot of strain on even the strongest of families. This strain can be anything from marital discord to fighting to financial problems that are caused by being the parents of a teenager. You are not the only family dealing with the strain of having a teen; millions of other families are facing the same stresses and the same strain as your own family.

Fighting

A house with a teenager is seldom quiet, whether it’s because your teen’s music is turned up too loudly, he has a house full of his friends making noise and eating everything in sight, or you are yelling at one another once again. According to Iowa State University, teens want to assert their independence and challenge just about everything. However, this could cause strain in your family when you’re all stressed out and angry because of the constant fighting, arguing and challenging your teen brings to the table.

Financial Problems

If you thought buying diapers and formula was expensive, you’re probably experiencing a great deal of anxiety now that your kids are teens. According to Iowa State University, teens are expensive and can cause financial strain on families. Teens often want to participate in teams and sports that are costly to join, plus they drive, and want designer shoes and jeans, as well as the latest technology -- these can all be big expenses for your family. If you already have financial issues or you live on a tight budget, the financial aspect of raising a teen can cause a great deal of strain.

Disappointment

According to the University of New Hampshire, sometimes the strain your teens cause in your family is based on disappointment -- on the part of both you and your teen. If you notice that your teen seems withdrawn or angry, or her grades are failing, it could be that she feels such an intense amount of pressure to meet your high expectations and the stress of that is causing her to fail. This failure causes disappointment on both your part and her part, and that is when the strain really begins to show in your own family.

Your Problems

Not all of your family’s strain is a direct result of your teen’s behavior or attitude. According to the University of New Hampshire, sometimes the strain in your family is caused by you. It's common for parents with teenagers to feel a sense of unhappiness and a lack of satisfaction with their own lives. Call it a midlife crisis or call it the sudden realization that you haven’t accomplished what you thought you’d accomplish by this time or the realization that in the not-so-distant future your little ones will be heading off to college, leaving you wondering what you will do with your life at that point. This type of personal stress can cause the strain you may be experiencing in your family.

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