Ten Useful Tips to Deal with Your Teenager’s Behavior
They say that the older your kids are, the more headache they cause. They are happy and content holding your hand and going to the park when they are little, but once they become teenagers, you need to give them some freedom and responsibility. Unfortunately, not all teens are able to take on the task, and they will keep you on your toes, and try to outsmart you. To anticipate their every move, you have to learn more about their motivations, values, and – most importantly – friends. Below you will find ten tips on how to deal with unexpected anger, rage, or simple lack of motivation when you have teenagers.
Look for the Source of the Behavior
When your teenager is being difficult, they are likely to be struggling with something that they don’t want to talk about. They might have issues with their friends, or they got into a conflict with their teacher. You should not try and deal with the symptom, but find out more about the cause. Ask questions about their days, and talk to the school. All teens go through emotional instability, due to the hormonal changes in their body, but if they are more than strange, get professional help. Get advice from alcohol addiction treatment services to see if their behavior can be down to getting in the wrong crowd and abusing substances.
Befriend their Friends’ Parents
The best way to find out more about the life of your teen is to talk to their friends’ parents. If you become friends, you can start sharing information, and put the pieces of the puzzle together. You can also make sure that your teenager is not choosing friends who negatively influence them.
Instead of criticizing your teen 24 hours a day, try to find positive things about them and praise them daily. They will go defensive if you point out their mistakes, but will start trusting you if they feel appreciated. While praise is a good way of maintaining a positive relationship, don’t use it to calm them down when they are angry with you.
Set Goals and Rewards
The smartest way of dealing with teenagers is to keep clear boundaries and assume authority. One of the most common mistakes parents make is that they try to become friends with their teen, and don’t take on the role of a guardian. Set the rules and attach goals and rewards to each behavior from an early age, so your kid knows you are in charge.
Have the Talk and Be Open
Chances are your teenage child is confused about relationships and sex life, and they need guidance. The goal here is to have your voice heard over their peers’. The main reason why teenagers engage in sexual activities early is not curiosity, but peer pressure. Tell them about other people who made the wrong decision and regretted it for life. Tell them you trust them to make independent decisions, but also make it clear that you are there to support them.
Get Support from Friends and Family Members
If you are a single parent, you are likely to be overpowered by your emotional teenager. You might be working long hours, and would rather give up an argument than deal with your child not talking to you for days. Other people, such as friends and family members will not have the same level of emotional attachment, and they can help you out. Chances are that at one point all teenagers would rather trust a stranger than their own parents.
Find them a Sport or Hobby
To help them achieve emotional stability, and release stress, you can find out which sports they are interested in and help them find a club where they can spend time with people of their own age, and be supervised, instead of roaming the streets all night. Ask their teachers what they are good at, and what they are most interested in, and partner with them to take their interest to the next level.
Help them Find a Job
If you are dealing with a teenager who is demanding independence, the best thing you can do is help them write a CV and look out for opportunities to work a few hours a week. Make it clear that they can only work if this doesn’t affect their education. This intervention can help them develop a healthy self-respect, and teach them essential budgeting skills. They will need to grow up fast to cope with their responsibilities.
Don’t Ask Direct Questions They Can Avoid
Teenagers are not famous of answering straight to direct questions. Instead, ask about their day, their friends, and the journey to school. Talk about teachers, and learn about their favorite games, TV programs, and movies. Talk about your teenage years and your goals, and they might come back with a comment that gives you clues what is going on with their lives. If you ask “which is your favorite subject” they will say “I don’t know”. But if you ask which books they are reading in English, they can open up and show interest.
Don’t Look Judgmental
Teenagers hate being labeled and judged. They are in the process of developing their identity, and are working hard to become a unique person. They don’t want you to assume that they are doing something for this or that reason. Don’t judge their behavior, but ask questions instead. If they get into trouble in school, don’t say that you told them to sit tight and listen. Instead, ask questions and find out more about the circumstances. You will help them open up. Then you can ask them if they believe they could have handled the situation better. Don’t tell them what they should have done, but let them come to the conclusion.
Raising teenagers often feels like walking on eggshells. You never know when they will snap at you or you will bring up a topic they don’t want to talk about. Don’t try to be their friend, but know who they hang out with. Don’t judge them, but guide them through their journey towards self-discovery.