I am now entering a new parenting journey called raising teenagers. It is honestly a new place to be. My children who were quite happy to do whatever I wanted, immediately now say “No!” They also question why they have to do things. Why I can’t do them instead and want to protest about it all with their mother and I.
These are my 4 Tips to deal with a growing teenager:
Step 1. Keep calm. If we are able to keep calm, we can handle the situation better.
Meeting anger with anger creates more anger so as long as we are calm we can deal with the situation in a positive way.
Step 2. Have a talk with them about it.
I have found that having a respectful conversation to be a lot better than overpowering them with my authority. Just because I’m the parent doesn’t mean I can bully them into doing what I want.
Step 3. Take our time.
This is the hardest part. As a parent time is of the essence, and nothing is more annoying than a teen not willing to play ball at that moment in time when we want the washing inside, the table cleared away, or the clothes picked up in the bathroom. However, taking that extra amount of time to talk and discuss is much better than a shouting match.
Step 4. Understand that turning from a teenager to an adult is a long process
Our teens are changing and developing new parts of their brain so they can become a fully functioning adult. They will need to learn and master all the adult skills we already know like arguing, questioning what right or wrong, having an opinion on everything and being independent.
It’s up to us to role model and teach them how to use these new abilities in a positive way. If we argue and yell they are more likely to argue and yell back. If we are calm and patient and willing to discuss things, our teen will have learnt a positive way to harness their newly developing adult skills.