Frustrated parents often find themselves at their wit’s end dealing with a teenager’s attitude that seems to defy all logic.
The most critical thing to keep in mind is that a teenager’s attitude rarely has anything to do with their parents. They are experiencing massive changes which can make them feel confined and powerless.
It’s never easy dealing with antsy teenagers, but these five tips should help you get through the next few years with at least some peace.
Only Offer Advice When Asked
When teens are in the process of finding their own two feet, make sure they know you are available, but only offer advice when they ask or are open to it. Otherwise, let them make mistakes, but be there to pick them up when they fall. We learn by doing, and mistakes can be valuable life lessons.
Set Clear Boundaries
Give your teen some space, but not free reign. Set clear boundaries and involve the teenager in the rule-making process. Make sure you hold all household members to the same standards. This way, the teenagers will see that you respect everyone’s feelings.
Give Your Teen Some Autonomy
Part of a teen’s exploration of their identity will involve experimenting with physical appearance. This could mean they come home with a hairstyle you may not like or ideas about fashion you wouldn’t be caught dead in. These are small things when you consider the big picture. Keep your energy for dealing with the issues that matter.
Keep Calm and Carry On
There will be times when your teenager’s attitude will boil over into explosive anger, but you should not retaliate with angry outbursts of your own. Not only will this validate the teen’s behavior, but you could put a wedge in your relationship that may be difficult to rectify. Stay calm, and wait for your teenager to work through their anger before you re-engage.
Organize a Parent / Teen Date
There will be times that your teenager will declare their undying hatred for you, but don’t take it personally. Your teen will have better days, and you will have opportunities to spend some quality time with them doing an activity you both enjoy, such as going on a movie date or a meal at a nice restaurant. Don’t use these opportunities to nag or lecture. Keep the conversation light and mostly about them.