Adolescents have been notoriously famous to put their parents and caregivers through stress and sometimes grief. So as a parent you should know and understand that you are not alone in this ordeal and that this is a normal and healthy phase your child needs to pass through to become a competent and responsible adult who can solve their own problems.
Parenting an adolescent can be difficult considering there is a very thin line between your child going through the usual adolescence phase of seeking independence and being absolutely rebellious, openly insolent and defiant and most often than not outright refusal to do household chores, in which case you need to seek professional help. Parenting a teenager sometimes require you to do some fine tuning your own attitude as a parent.
Here are a couple of ways to keep your teen’s unpleasant habits in check:
1. Expect your teen to disagree with you
It should not come to you as a surprise when your teen holds his own opinion and view about a particular thing no matter how off and dumb it may sound, also expect some arguments when you bring up issues which affects you both but which your teen sees as trivial. Explain to him how it affects the both of you and ensure you explain to him with love.
2. Stay calm and calculated; do not let your teen manipulate you
Some teenagers appear to derive pleasure in making their parents and caregivers mad. In some cases, this might be your teen trying to get your attention and connect with you on a deeper level. Just like every other child, your teenager needs to know and understand that he can trust you to stay strong. They need to understand that you will continue to love them no matter the kind of grief their youthful exorbitance causes you. It is important you apply whatever technique you may need to stay calm, like breathing techniques, taking a walk in nature or even giving yourself some alone time. When interacting with your teen, be mindful of what you say especially on an occasion where he has succeeded in getting you angry.
3. Stay connected with your teen
Be sure to make out time on a daily basis to give your teen the attention he requires; during this time do your best to adequately interact with him. Find an activity that you both enjoy and make a weekly ritual out of it like walking the dog, taking an exercise class together or even going out for ice cream. They might complain about this at first, but as time goes on they’ll realize how fun it is and get into the game.
4. Do not be judgmental
One of the major reasons why being a teenager may be difficult is that, unlike children, teenagers are aware of what other people think of them and are affected by it.
5. Humor your teen while empathizing with his predicaments
Being a teenager can at some points feel difficult, as the teenager deals with the challenges and changes that come with growing into adulthood. As a parent, it is important that you make effort to humor your teen’s predicament rather than aggravate it and make sure your teen knows you are doing your best to make his walk through adolescence pleasant. Make him feel that he has someone by his side who understands what he is going through. Be sure to also humor yourself especially when you overreact to your teen’s reaction.
6. Do not be judgmental and overbearing
One of the many reasons why being a teenager is difficult is because unlike little children, adolescents know how people feel about them and are also aware of the perception of others towards them. So resist the urge to intervene in their affairs unless it is absolutely necessary. You should also do less of criticizing and nagging over little issues for which they should be able to handle on their own. Come what may make sure your teen knows that you see him in a positive light, this will boost his self-confidence and may be the factor that makes the difference between him staying on track and losing his direction.
7. Assist your teen in solving problems
When you notice from your teen’s demeanor that they are troubled, remind them that you will be more than pleased to listen and help proffer solutions to their problems if they don’t mind. Also, let them know that you will always be willing to listen to them even if they are not ready or in the mood to talk at that material time.
8. Encourage your teen to involve actively with the community
Support your teen to get involved in positive community groups of interest, whether artistic, athletic, religious even political.
9. To a degree plausible allow your teen to suffer the ordinary consequences of their actions
It is wiser to allow your teenager go through the ordinary implications and consequences of their actions and sometimes inaction. This will teach them that every action has consequences, a lesson he will come to appreciate further as he gets older.
10. Involve your teen in the rulemaking process
Find out from your teen what he requires from you to make the home more conducive for him to stay in. In most cases, his answer will come in the tune of you granting him a little more privacy, less nagging and possibly he might ask to be treated more like an adult. Try as much as it is reasonably possible to reach a compromise and watch things change for the better. People generally are less likely to default in rules for which they had a say in its making process. Nevertheless, expect these rules to change consistently as they get older.
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