7 Tips on Parenting Difficult Teenagers

Teenagers can sometimes be difficult to deal with…nobody is going to argue with you on that.  As a parent, you are most likely aware that teens somehow find a way to get under your skin.  There are so many changes going on with them emotionally, psychologically and biologically  that it’s almost impossible to understand them…

Their unpredictable temper and natural instinct of reclusiveness makes communication oftentimes difficult.  Also, for the first time in their lives they are experiencing a new level of independence and “enjoying” all of the advantages while not fully understanding consequences of their actions.

They want to do different things because they see what’s “out there” and do not want to be constantly directed by their parents or other authority figures.  Oftentimes they are stubborn too.  This may already be obvious to you in your experience.

As you can imagine, these and many other things cause conflict between you and your teenager. Typically, while parenting difficult teenagers, a central conflict arises.  One side (your teen) is trying to break free…while you on the other hand, want to keep your child under “control” and safe.

If this is a challenge that you are facing with your teen, here are a few tips to help you positively parent your difficult teenager.

Give Them Responsibility

Slowly ceding responsibility to your child will give them a sense of confidence and empowerment while still allowing you to retain a certain amount direction.  Give your teen some “room” to take on responsibility hold him accountable yet don’t be overbearing.  Should she fail in their duties, approach with concern and understanding while driving home the point rather than approaching as a dictator.   Take time to discuss the issues. You can always assist with the task of responsibility if a certain situation doesn’t work out.  This will convey to your teen that you are expecting something from them but at the same time are willing to assist.  This will help to reduce stress in your relationship with your child.

Allow Them to Make Decisions

Ultimately, you want a child that makes “good decisions”.  Allowing your teen to make decisions will give them a sense of control and responsibility for their own actions.  This conveys trust and communicates love.  This can greatly improve your problems as your child becomes happier with the level of trust and leverage they are being given.  Keep in mind that what is given may be taken away so if things do not turn out well.  Responsibility can be misused by your teen and as such, use your judgment on when you should reverse your decisions.

Always involve your teen in the conversation, always make ensure that you are letting them make the decision and they will feel much better about it when it comes along.

When Giving Them Tasks Keep It General

Let your teen handle their own work and schedule do not make them work at any time but give them a job and a deadline.  Whether they do it in the first few minutes or in a while let them know it is up to them and they get to decide.  You should also allow them to experiment with different methods in doing a task.  Even if something is not the way you would do it, allow them to try.  You can advise them on method but never ever impose yours on theirs. See if you can get them to try it and learn it that way.

Keep the Volume to a Minimum

In arguments always try to keep the volume down even if you get frustrated.  If you are anything like I used to be, your voice level might have a tendency to go off the chart.  If your volume rises, your teen will shut down and there will be no way to convey your ultimate message.  By keeping the volume down, you maintain a certain level of control of the situation and don’t shit the issue.

Listen and Understand

Try to understand your teen’s point of view.  This allows you to empathize with her and let her know you care.  If it has appeared you’ve listened to her and you know her reasons for a decision she will trust you more and be much more likely to listen to your point of view in return.

This is a great method to come to an agreement over many arguments with a teenager. It communicates to them that you respect their thoughts and their decisions.  Even if they don’t eventually agree with your logic they will often agree with your point just to show that they respect you also.

See Them “Real” People

You can’t shoebox your teen as a non-entity just because you are the parent.  You have to take them seriously and listen to their desires and decisions.  They are experiencing emotions as strong as yours if not stronger.  In order to convince them that you care, you must treat them the way you want them to act.

Maintain Control

The entire message of this work has been leading up to one major tip in dealing with difficult teenagers. Always maintain control of the situation.  This does not mean micromanaging their daily lives but instead being the architect of their direction.  You are the parent and are responsible for guiding them through this sometimes difficult phase in their life.

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