Teenage is a tough time for the child, his parents, teachers and other persons interacting with him or her. Teens and preteens particularly seem to have a “Why Bother?” and “I don’t care” attitude about homework, school, household chores, and other activities.
Teenagers are a unique/confused breed; as a group, they desire to express individuality but crave for peer acceptance. They claim to know everything but lack experience. They feel invincible but are often insecure. Many teenagers thrive on challenging authoritywhile some maybe self-destructive. Thus, you may find it tough to deal with teenagers.
Here are some tips for handling teenagers as practised inthe best schools in Beirut:
Don’t Expect the Worst
Teenagers usually get a bad rap. Many parents approach the task of raising teenagers as an ordeal thinking that they can only watch helplessly as their beloved kids transform into unpredictable monsters. This sets you up for a difficult time. Remember that negative expectations can actually promote the behaviour you fear most. The tip is to focus on your child’s hobbies and interests, which you might not even understand. By this, you can open a new path of communication, reconnect with your beloved child and learn new things.
Avoid Reading Too Many Parenting Books
Instead of relying on their instincts, some parents tend to rely on outside experts for advice on how to raise teens. Many parents struggle while trying to follow tips in parenting books. Books become a problem when parents use them to replace their innate parenting skills. This makes them anxious and less confident.
Do Not Give Away Your Power
One common feature of difficult teenagers is that they love to push your buttons and make you react negatively. They use many ways like disobeying, teasing, temper throwing, back answering, provoking and dismissing. The more you react, the more power the child will experience over you.
The first rule of thumb is to keep your cool. The less you react to provocation, the more you can use good judgment to handle the situation.
Set Up Clear Boundaries
Since teenagers wish to be independent, they will challenge you to test the extent of their power. In such situations, it is crucial to set boundaries for maintaining a constructive and workable relationship. The boundaries must be spelt out specifically and clearly.
The most effective boundaries (ground rules/ house rules) are those that are reasonable, fair and can be applied consistently. If you have not yet set the rules, affirm that things will be different from now on and back your statements with action. The first boundary in all situations is that you must be treated with respect. Then there will be other ground rules on the basis of which respect will be returned to the child. Such rules must be clear and concise.
Avoid Overreaction and Under Reaction
One rule is never to sweat the small stuff. Do not overreact to the teen’s actions. Without puttingthem at risk, give them the freedom to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from their consequences. Many parents do not want their child to experience pain and disappointment. But overprotection will take away valuable learning opportunities. Challenge yourself to step back and still let the teen know you are there for him.
At the same time, if you suspect that your child is using drugs or alcohol, you must not look the other way. You must take immediate action before it turns into a serious problem.
These are some tips on how parents can handle difficult teenagers.