How To Cope With Teen Disobedience?
Created by Aparna Balasundaram Updated on Jun 24, 2021
The journey from childhood to teen-hood goes by so fast - and while you might not have changed much, your child certainly has. It isn't about hugs and cuddles any more, but eye-rolls and sulking. You start to wonder if there's an impostor in your child's place. Even an ‘expert' like me sometimes runs into a stony wall of silence or a simmering volcano of angry emotions with my teenager. Handling a teen can feel like walking on egg shells every minute of every day. Our wellness expert Aparna Balasundaram, shares her valuable insights into teen behavior, and tips on how you can cope.
Tips To Cope With Teen Disobedience
As a parent of one teen to another, here are some practical everyday parenting tips that could guide your teen and youthrough the rebellious years ahead.
Understand the psychology behind this disobedience: A common concern among parents of teens is “Why is my child rebelling? Am I doing something wrong?"
- Part of being a teen is ‘rebelling,'trying to establish his or her identity and find her voice and place in the world
- According to psycho-social development theorists, this is actually a healthy sign! This means your teen is trying to think for himself, trying to be independent and is trying to ‘flap' his wings in preparation to fly the nest. So, be prepared for – “No, I won't" or “Why should I?"—familiar phrases that will question your parental authority
- Don't take it too personally, emotionally blackmail them, doubt their love or your ability as a parent. At the same time, do not be held hostage to your teen's demands, anger outbursts or silences. Balance and consistency is key
Set clear realistic boundaries:Teens will test boundaries, and that is normal, and even good.
- It is important that the rules you had for them when they were 10 years old need to be revised now
- When setting these updated home ground rules, make sure they are realistic— for example, you cannot tell your 15-year-old that they have to be in bed by 9 PM or they have to be back home by 7 PM. That might have worked earlier, but now move the bedtime to 10 PM and curfew to 8 PM
Dealing with consequences: Decide beforehand, the consequences of breaking your rules.
- The key is to involve them in deciding what the consequences will be. While this might take some time and negotiating on both sides, it's important you do not skip this step.
- This way your teen can take more ownership, will feel heard and feel it is fairer, and this in turn will increase the likelihood of his sticking to ground rules.
- Pick your battles: You will need to be wise and pick your battles, and use the precious time you spend with your teen to focus on more serious issues. Don't get caught up or distracted by your son's long hair or your daughter's black nail polish (let the school principal deal with that!); instead talk to your child about the dangers of drugs or the Internet sites they frequent
- Show empathy: We've all been there, done that, right? You have been a teen, too, and you know that your troubles were important at that stage in your life. So try and put yourself in your teen's shoes, and shower her with plenty of love. Know when to give her space and when to step in. Pursue an activity that she likes, together, maybe once a week. Or schedule a fun outing – shopping or lunch. Being engaged in an activity allows her to open up to you, rather than pointed questioning
While you learn to give them space, make a conscious effort to ask for your teen's opinion and involve her in family decisions – this makes her feel heard and acknowledged as an ‘adult.'The bottom line parents is, just as you enjoyed cuddling them and breathing in that yummy baby smell, now make a purposeful effort to enjoy this stage by developing the patience to trust them, the courage to let them explore, the resilience to mentor and build them—all while keeping faith in yourself and your teen
How do you deal with teen tantrums and sulking? Please do share your views, thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.
| Apr 17, 2017
Nice article. It's really difficult to deal with teenagers, I feel the tough part is to keep ourselves calm when they don't listen. It's like I know I should not get angry but I can't control and then the clash begins. So along with training them we should also train ourselves.
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