Heading into the Awkward Teens
There is no denying that being a parent is never easy. Most people would agree that one of the most difficult elements of being a parent is adapting to the changes in your child’s personality as he or she moves through life. One of the most difficult phases for a lot of parents is the teenage phase. Teenagers can become awkward during this stage of their life and it can be incredibly difficult to manage. This is especially the case because a lot of teens tend to pull away from their parents and they become more focused on their friends, so there can feel like there is a disconnect. With that being said, read on to discover some useful pieces of advice that can assist you when it comes to dealing with an awkward teenager.
- Maintain humour and show empathy in mild situations – If a situation arises that is relatively mild and your teenager is being difficult, the best thing you can do here is to avoid overreacting. Do not respond with a frown. Instead, respond with a smile. A little bit of humour can help here too. When it comes to trivial matters, avoid telling a teenager what to do. You may come across as picky if you keep giving unsolicited advice. Save this for when it really matters. You do not want to make yourself an ‘enemy’ – this will make it even harder. Give your teenager a reasonable amount of room. After all, your teen will only get more defensive if they feel like they are being suffocated.
- Focus on the way in which you communicate – The art of communication is important in many different walks of life, and this is certainly the case when dealing with a child who is heading into the awkward teen stage. When you face a young person who is acting difficult, if you use assertive communication skills you will be able to strengthen your position.
- Establish clear boundaries – Another important step when it comes to dealing with an awkward teenager is to establish clear boundaries. A lot of teenagers want to have a greater amount of selfhood and independence. In these situations, it is very important that you set boundaries and that you stick with them. This is the only way you are going to be able to maintain a relationship that is constructive and workable. Make sure you articulate your boundaries specifically and clearly.
- Do not give away your power – The final piece of the puzzle is to make sure you do not give away your power. Teens love to push their parents’ buttons so that they react negatively. This can be done in a number of different ways, for example, provoking, haggling, dismissing, rule-breaking, temper throwing, not listening, disobeying, and much more. Do not become upset or reactive or your child will think they have the upperhand.
As you can see, managing a teenager is not easy. Moreover, a lot of your approach is going to depend on the nature of your child. However, if you use the advice that has been provided above, you will have a good starting point when it comes to dealing with an awkward teenager.