ASK ANU: ‘How do I deal with my rebellious teen?’

‘Why is my teen suddenly behaving like this?’

‘Why is s/he so distant/difficult to understand?’

‘Does my child even love me?’

It is common for parents to find themselves struggling to connect with their teenage children.

While most of us conveniently label it a ‘generation gap’, Anu Krishna, mental health expert and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) trainer, says the gap exists because “one side (the parent) is not meeting the other (the teenager)”.

If this gap is not addressed or bridged on time, it only widens.

In this edition of our self-help series, Anu discusses the various challenges parents and teenagers face and offers practical solutions.

Interview: Divya Nair/
Videos: Rajesh Karkera/

What exactly is a generation gap?

Watch Anu explain how this gap sets in and gradually influences the way parents and teens respond to each other:


As we grow up, we form our own sets of beliefs. Sometimes, when the beliefs held by parents and teens don’t match, it widens the gap between them.

While there is no formula for being a good parent, says Anu, neither strict nor liberal parenting helps because “the tighter you hold (onto them), the faster they will slip away from you.”

It is important, she says, that parents learn how to strike the right balance.

“They (teens) don’t need a friend; they need a friendly parent who knows when to call the shots,” she points out in the video below.


If you are facing a difficult situation with your teenager, should you take charge? If so, when and how?

Should you confront or consult?

Here’s what Anu has to say:


Parents often struggle to communicate and say/do the right things at the right time.

While it may be challenging to where your teen is coming from, Anu suggests how parents can express their love in a way that makes teens want to receive it.

Dear readers, if you have a question for Anu Krishna, please e-mail it to [email protected] (Subject: Ask ANU) for her advice. Kindly mention and your request for privacy will be considered.

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