Pull Versus Push with Out of Control Teens

Pulling In Difficult TeensDealing with an out of control teen is a challenge that many parents might be overwhelmed with.  Often times teens become rebellious, develop bad habits and make poor decisions.  Considering how the media, music, and entertainment act with such profound influence on developing teens, it’s hard to have a positive impact on a teen’s choices like when they were a young child.  There is an important lesson that we can learn from the negative influences media, music and the like.

The Carrot is More Effective than the Stick

In order to have the most impactful influence on your troubled teen, it is essential that you bring them to you and to their own sense of responsibility rather than ruling with fear and threat.  The answer is to be crafty.   Here you will find some tips on how to draw your troubled teen into responsibility.

Be an Authority Not a Friend

Many times children simply lose respect for their parents as authority figures because they see them more like a friend, or someone they can relate to on a personal level.  This isn’t the relationship that fosters healthy growth and respect for authority in developing teens, and often leads to a teen becoming troubled.  It is okay to be a friend to a child when they need it, but constantly trying to be ‘the cool parent’ without any rules or guidelines will be detrimental to any progress the child makes.

Utilize Reasonable Expectations and Logical Consequences

Having outlandish or over-the-top expectations for your child, especially in areas where they have no interest in, can be a catalyst for many problems later on down the road.  It is a good idea to set realistic expectations that fit in with what the child wants and what you the parent expect.  Discipline should be set the same way.  Consequences should be proportionate your teens actions.

Consistency

When you praise, praise.  When you punish, punish.  Keep your message consistent.  Also, mean what you say and say what you mean.  Giving in and fluctuating is a way that trouble teen begin to manipulate parents.  It is important to impose the consequences and hold your teen responsible for their actions.  They will study and learn your breaking points and weaknesses and take advantage of them.  However, if you remain steadfast in your message, and follow through with your consequences, you give them no leverage to take advantage of you down the road.

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