There’s no way around it: dealing with teenagers can be a tough job for even the most even-keeled of parents. Between the frequent mood swings, need to rebel, and seeing them grow up before your eyes, it can be a lot for a parent to deal with.
It can seem tough to deal with a teenager with attitude without risking your relationship. You love your child and want what’s best for them, but they don’t seem to understand.
If you’re the parent of teenagers with attitude, this article is for you. Here are 10 parenting tips to help you get through to your child.
10 Tips for Dealing with Teenagers with Attitude
First and foremost, it’s extremely important to remember that most people’s teenage years aren’t exactly known for going smoothly. Many of us likely rebelled as kids ourselves or gave our parents a hard time.
It’s tough when the shoe is on the other foot, but do your best to remain patient. Even if they have an attitude, they’re still your child and you love them.
Try and stay patient with your teen. Remember that their bodies are going through some pretty dramatic hormonal changes. And that’s not even counting the enormous pressure they’re likely experiencing from school, work, and their social life.
Give Your Teen Responsibilities
Remember how your child used to relish the thought of being a grown-up. Well, truthfully not much has changed. The only difference is they’re far worse at communicating what they really want.
Make no mistake though, teenagers with attitude — and all teenagers in general — want to be seen as responsible, mature adults.
A great way to combat your teen’s attitude problem is by giving them responsibilities. Let them earn a few dollars a week through chores and tasks around the house. Encourage them to get a job, even.
You may have to help them set a routine, but you’ll be amazed at what a little responsibility can do for your child’s behavior.
Know the Difference Between Apathy and Depression
Most teenagers aren’t exactly known for their positive demeanor. In fact, many teenagers can be downright moody. It’s your job as a parent, however, to know the difference between apathy and something more serious like depression.
It’s believed that teens are more susceptible than ever to mental health issues, in part due to social media. One recent report suggested that the rate of severe youth depression is up from 5.9 percent to a staggering 8.2 percent.
Look out for the following in your teen:
- A lack of interest in fun hobbies
- Constant fatigue
- Loss of appetite
If you’re concerned, speak to a mental health professional. It may be beneficial for your teen to speak with a counselor or doctor.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Empathy is another great tool when dealing with teenagers with attitude. Think back to your own days as a teen. You were likely a terror, too.
Teenagers with attitude are something that every generation experiences. The only difference is that now the shoe is on the other foot.
Remember not to take everything they say personally. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this, but for the most part, it’s the hormones talking.
Think back to what we’ve already learned: children, including teens, crave discipline. Those with structure and boundaries are far more likely to succeed than their peers.
Set these boundaries early on and communicate them effectively. You may even want to get your teen involved in the rulemaking process themselves.
Sit down as a family and construct a family charter. It should list the house rules and characteristics that you value. Including kids in the rules making process shows they’re trusted and you value their input.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a printed copy of the house rules on the fridge or somewhere in the living room. That way you can easily refer back to the charter whenever your teen acts up.
Encourage Extracurricular Activities
We often forget how important proper socialization is for kids. Sure, they get to hang out with the friends at school, but that’s rarely enough.
Encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities. Not only will they get to meet all sorts of great new people, but they’ll learn new skills and have a stronger transcript when it comes time to start looking into college.
Spend Quality Time With Your Teen
Teenagers with attitude often act out for attention. Sometimes, your teen is just looking to spend more time with you. Find shared hobbies that you both take an interest in and spend a few hours per week together.
A great way to combat a teen’s need to rebel is by spending quality time with them. Talk to them and spend one-on-one time together. It may sound simple, but it’s invaluable and means the world to them.
Be Careful About the Big Three
Now for the topic every parent dreads, the big three: sex, drugs, and alcohol. Statistics indicate that teens 78.2 percent of teens will try alcohol, with 81.4 percent given the chance to try drugs.
Naturally, this is pretty terrifying for a parent to hear. Teach your child responsibility and how to shy away from peer pressure. Let them know that even if they do get in trouble, you’re here for them.
Of course, if there’s a far more serious issue, more drastic measures, like a drug test, may be necessary.
Stay Calm During Tense Moments
As any parent of teenagers with attitude can tell you, sometimes things get heated. But it’s during those tense moments that your teen needs you the most.
Remain even-keeled and level-headed with your teen. Try not to raise your voice or use disparaging language against them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be mad, just show them that you’re in charge of the situation and stay calm.
Stick to Your Guns
Finally, if you set a rule, make sure you actually enforce it. Teenagers with attitude tend to test boundaries more than their counterparts.
When push comes to shove, you’ll need to follow through with any punishment you threaten. Don’t just tell them they’re grounded, actually ground them.
Words mean far less than actions.
Final Thoughts on Parenting Teenagers With Attitude
Parenting teens, even if they’re well-behaved, can be a challenge. Follow these rules and remember that you’re in charge. But more importantly, remember that you love them and they love you.
When it comes to parenting in general, you want to make sure you Get That Right. So be sure to follow our family life blog to keep your family happy and healthy.