Most teenagers can present with challenging behaviour, no matter how stable and balanced their early years were. For them, they are experiencing hormonal changes, intense peer pressure and are starting to push boundaries and transition from children to adults.
Here are a few tips for making life more harmonious for everyone:
1) Be an authoritative parent rather than an authoritarian type. An authoritative parents cares, listens and offers freedom within boundaries. This is an effective parental style. An authoritarian parent is more like a dictator and will expect teenagers to obey orders. Almost like a dictator in the home, the type of parent that usually states “Do it because I said so”. This is one of the quickest routes to an unruly rebellious teenager. The more you force a teenager to do something, the more they will resist – it’s common sense.
2) Try to offer choices and discuss options with your teenager. This is where compromise is essential. For example – perhaps you only want your teenager to be out late one night on the weekend. You could still let them choose whether they would prefer Friday night or Saturday night. (Freedom within boundaries). This allows the teenager to still feel they have some control.
3) Include teenagers in decision making. This shows that you respect them and are willing listen to what they have to say. Adopt a collaborative approach whereby you work as much as a team as possible. This encourages loyalty.
4) Above all, accept that teenagers do tend to sleep a lot, grunt a lot, lack motivation and can be untidy. I say this with the greatest respect as we have all been there. Try to see this as a phase and always try to keep your sense of humour. They will challenge you and try to assert their independence..it’s all part of the process.
All names have been changed to protect the identity of clients. Personal client stories shared in this blog have been published with prior permission from the relevant clients.