Tips on handling Adolescents
Adolescence is a rather difficult period. It has been noticed that even well-behaved children tend to become moody and irritable upon entering this phase. With the complaints of not having enough freedom or that their parents are too controlling, teenagers are often seen going through frequent emotional outbursts.
Attitude problems and non-compliant behaviour among teens is not uncommon. Thankfully, it is a temporary phase. Unfortunately, if not handled well, it can give rise to unsavoury results like complete fallout with your teenage child.
So, how do you deal with your teenage child’s behaviour and attitude problems?
Here are a few helpful tips.
Allow Your Children to Freely Express Themselves and Show Your Support in What They Have to Say
Teenagers don’t mean to be impolite and ill-behaved, but this is a part of their growth and development. More often than not, teenagers feel that they’re not in control of their emotions. There will be times when you disagree with your child’s behavior, but you have to understand that he/she is acting out and trying to express independent ideas or feelings. You should give your children a free platform to express themselves, even if you don’t understand them. Remember that your children are influenced not only by the other kids at school but also by television, newspaper, and of course, social media.
It is essential to make teenagers feel heard. This helps them form their own opinions and ideas in an environment that doesn’t stifle or make them feel embarrassed to do the same.
When your child is giving you an attitude or making snide comments, losing your cool is very much possible. But, this can make matters worse. You need to stay calm and explain your point. Take deep breaths, if necessary, but remember, maintaining a composed stance is the need of the hour.
You can also use humor to break the seriousness of the situation. A shared laugh can often bring a new perspective, take the heat out of a situation, and lighten the tone. Also, avoid giving bored looks, raised eyes, and shrugs when your child talks to you. Always look interested in what they have to say because this will encourage them to open up with you and freely express their feelings, opinions, and ideas.
Don’t stifle your child’s Right to Privacy when connecting with them
Independence is an essential part of growing up. You must give your children the freedom and space that they need. Usually, rude behavior and problematic teenage attitude stem from their need for privacy. If your children feel that you are invading their privacy, they will most likely develop rebellious behavior.
But, too much freedom and independence are also not conducive to your children’s growth and development. Do remember, this is also the age when they are the most vulnerable. You have to find a balance between giving them the right amount of space so that they don’t rebel against you while keeping a check on their activities to ensure their wellbeing. Building positive relationships with your child is crucial so that they see a friend, mentor, and guide in you, and not just a strict parent.
Be sensitive and compassionate towards your child
Do you remember the time you were a teenager? Even without social media and global influences, that phase was challenging. Put yourself in the shoes of your teen daughter or son. They’re growing in so many different ways, and puberty can be scary. Throughout the teenage years, the brain’s emotional side is heavily active while the decision-making and judgmental areas remain under construction. While being exciting, it is also a time when children go through varied emotions and bodily and hormonal changes. The rebellious attitude and tendency to stay locked up in a private room might come from not fully understanding what is happening to their bodies and why they feel a certain way.
What you need to do is show support, compassion, and be sensitive to their changing needs. Since your child doesn’t understand what is going on, you need to be the support system.
Plan family activities to connect with your teenager
Teenage children go through physical, mental, emotional, and hormonal changes. Games and other fun activities are a great way to make teenagers forget what they’re going through and relax. You can plan an evening outing to do things that they like and eat food items that they enjoy. This will make them feel closer to you.
Things That You Should Avoid
Arguing – Arguing never works. People say things that they don’t mean in anger, and they end up regretting what they said. So, always calm down before having a difficult conversation.
Barring Your Child From Speaking – You may not condone your child’s behavior, but you have to let them tell you why they behaved a certain way. Also, don’t force him/her to talk. Agree on a time when it is suitable for both you and have a heart-to-heart.
Nagging – This rarely has many effects. It only ends up increasing children’s frustration. Stop nagging and find other effective disciplinary methods like setting clear family rules, communicating, and using consequences like, whoever abuses have to do chores and so on.
Being Defensive – You shouldn’t take things too personally because your child probably doesn’t mean half the things he or she is saying. They’re only trying to assert their independence, and you can listen to them patiently.
Dealing with teenage tantrums and behavioural issues is one of the most challenging jobs of being a parent. But, if you put in the effort of having a loving and friendly relationship with your teenage children, you will surely see results. All the best!