The Challenge of Parenting Teens
July 14, 2015 · Posted in Parenting, Teens · Permalink

logospBy Elyssa Ackerman, LCSW and Founder of Strategic Parent

Communicating with your teen can really test your patience.  One minute your teen is asking you for money or permission to hang with friends, the next they are slamming the door and stomping out. It is no wonder parents of teens find themselves frustrated and confused.

Teens are irrational, and, according to Dr. Mike Bradley, author of Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind, “Adolescents are temporarily brain damaged.” What he means is that the parts of the brain responsible for emotional control, impulse restraint, and rational decision-making aren’t fully formed or connected.  Therefore, teens are confrontational, unpredictable and often overwhelmed by the stresses in their lives.

Your job is to be the bigger person and act rationally.  Try to stay calm and settled while your teen wrestles with his/her feelings. When your teen is rude, disrespectful, and nasty, practice saying “I will not speak to you when you are disrespectful, come to me when we can talk civilly.” Try not to hold grudges. Sound like a big challenge? It is.

The truth is that teens still need us to think the world of them.  It is easy for us to highlight what teens do wrong, so try implementing two positives for every negative.  Refrain from advice giving and moralizing, and listen, really listen.  Put down your phones: don’t text while they are talking to you, email can wait.  Even if you disagree with what they are saying, let them talk. If given the space to do so, they will come to trust you.

Communicate with your teen by setting clear and consistent limits. Try not to yell, and do let them negotiate. Be matter of fact about his/her curfew, responsibilities in the home, and your drug and alcohol (use or no use) policy.  Enforce limits through incentives, not ultimatums, and encourage them to act responsibly. If rules get broken, let them play a part in deciding upon the consequences. They will attain the freedom they so desire by demonstrating their willingness to do their part.

Most importantly, keep connected. If your teen sees that you are interested and available through all the ups and downs, the payoffs are priceless.

Bookmark and Share
Buy Our Book, 'A Mother's Circle'
Facebook  RSS

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346