Communicating and dealing with teenagers at home is challenging for even the toughest of souls. The uphill battle you seem to be losing daily to your teenager is not one you are facing alone. The behavior issues your teen gives you are pretty universal, and since they are all-too-common in households around the world, here are a few pinpointed solutions to assist you in resolving them at home.
“They’re MY friends!”
In households around the globe, parents find themselves battling against undesirable friends and equally so, finds their teenagers constantly battling to keep them. However, the minute you tell them you don’t like their friends, they may start to be secretive and get defensive.
How do you keep from driving a wedge in the relationship between you and your teen when it comes to their friends?
Take the time to get to know your teenager’s friends and names and meet them. Be polite and treat them with genuine respect and interest. Realize that no matter what, it’s better for your teen to be honest and be able to bring home obnoxious friends rather than doing things in secret with them outside of your home.
“Sorry, what?” Or “Sorry, Huh?”
Time after time, I find myself talking to my teen daughter with no response from her. Then a, “sorry, what?” or “sorry, huh, did you say something?” comes out of her mouth. “Why, yes! Yes, I did.” But since she is literally glued to her phone all the time, she didn’t hear a thing! An entire generation of kids and teens all seem to be permanently glued to a phone, iPad, computer, or gaming system.
Does limiting screen time or taking it away make you the number one enemy at home? Sometimes, yes, and that’s okay.
Remember you own and pay for the services on all devices, so you are completely within your rights to lay down ground rules about how and when the devices are to be used. For instance, many families ban technology from bedrooms for safety sake, while others have “tech-free” time during family dinners, game nights, and movie nights. Negotiation and expectations should include chore and grade requirements. If your teenager is following your rules, then try your best to allow them their ‘tech-space’ no matter how frustrating it may be.
“I hate you!”
Sometimes they say the words, and other times a roll of the eyes conveys their words to parents. Even though it seems incredibly personal at the time, keep in mind teenagers are common for going through the stage where everything you do or say is responded to with disgust or dislike. Teenage boys are particularly worse in their stage to be combative. Often, this behavior can lead parents to react in a way that will only damage the relationship more.
How do you deal with rolling eyes and rude behavior?
Lisa Damour, a clinical instructor at Case Western Reserve University says, “What seems to be a rude brush-off might actually be the girl’s valiant attempt to hold herself together. Teens can be easily overwhelmed by their own feelings, and they’re often ambivalent about leaning on parents for support.”
Be simple and plain with the rules and consequences your teenager needs to abide by when it comes to appropriate behavior. If they are outright disrespectful or rude, then deal with it immediately by enforcing the consequences you have already discussed. Try your best to not respond to eye rolling or dirty looks, just ignore them. Your teenager knows deep down how much they need you, so just ensure they know they are safe at home and in a supportive environment.
When You Need Help
You can only do so much. When you’re at your wit’s end, sometimes, it’s better to bring in some help. Our teen experts can help you during this difficult time in your adolescent’s life. Contact Havenwood Academy today for more information about our program.
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