Adolescence is a difficult time for parents and the teens themselves. In fact, this is the most transformative time that anyone goes through in life because adolescence is when kids are literally transforming from children to adults. Think about it. A 13-year-old is still a child in every way. However, a 19-year-old is an adult legally, even though the brain is not fully developed until adults are in their mid-twenties. Boys during the teen years go through puberty, and girls do as well but usually get a head start with it earlier than boys. And the changes can start happening between nine and 12 years of age as those are called the ‘tween years’.
With that said, in the years in between, teens will be discovering their independence, and will not want to be going by the rules of their parents and other authorities such as teachers. Teens are going to be testing limits due to these changes that are happening, become experimental which can involve drugs and sex, but not always. Either way, most teens will be defiant and this is a huge stressor for both the teens as well as the parents.
If teens don’t like the rules that their parents are placing on them, they will be argumentative, rebellious, and will act out in anger and in spite. Even though this is normal, it doesn’t mean it is acceptable, and fortunately, there are tips on how to create rules for defiant teens that they will abide by. Let’s look at 5 of those tips now.
Link Good Behavior To Privileges
Your teen may think that them using their smartphones or tablets, driving your car, taking money to buy items, and spending time with their friends are necessities. However, they are not necessities as they are privileges. Remind them of this fact, and each time they act out, you have the power to take those privileges away. They will dislike it and be prepared that behaviors may get worse with it initially before they get better.
However, eventually, the teen will get the message. If they follow the rules and act appropriately, then they can earn their privileges back.
Don’t Be Repetitive And Remind Them Of Consequences
Teens absolutely become angered when parents are nagging them by reminding them over and over again if they don’t do something that is expected of them – then they will end up being grounded. In fact, that only brings out rebellious and angry behavior. The best thing to do is to remind the teen of the rules just once, and also add that there will be consequences if they don’t follow through – just one time.
And, if the teen ignores the rules, then that is the time for them to face the consequences. In fact, there is no better teacher than experience. That means it is not a bad thing for kids to face the consequences and learn that way. For instance, if you tell your teen to clean his or her room or else you will take away the tablet, do it once. If the teen doesn’t listen, then take away the tablet and the charger. The teen will remember this and be motivated to follow through on a rule next time.
Plan How You Will Handle Your Teen’s Outburst
When your teen becomes angry and acts out, then the first instinct is for the parents is to react in the same way. This only creates a massive fight and your point not received by the teen. The best thing to do is always anticipate that your teen will act out and become rebellious. And, make a plan on how you will respond to the outburst. Plan out what you will say and be sure to stick to doing so in a calm and cool manner.
If you are calm and cool, then the teen will cool down and be more receptive to what you are saying, and will be more likely to listen.
Chances are your teen will not want to work with you on anything, and he or she will think that everything can be figured out on his or her own. However, the truth is that your teen needs your help on many things, and deep down knows this even though he or she is in denial.
Remember that you are not only your teen’s parent, but you are the coach, teacher, cheerleader, as well as your teen’s disciplinarian. That does not mean doing things for your teen. In fact, that will not be helpful. However, you will want to encourage problem-solving. For instance, your teen may act out if he or she doesn’t understand how to do math homework. And the response would be in this type of situation is You do know that behaving in this manner will not solve the problem as it will get you into more trouble. Let’s take a step back and let’s figure out what the issue is. If you are having trouble with your homework, what can be done to make this easier for you?.
Let your teen figure out what to do. Perhaps trying to answer the question in a different way could be it. Or if your teen is really struggling, then he or she will realize that it is time to seek out a tutor. There it is. Your teen solved an issue which is what you want.
Always Praise Good Behavior
You may think that praising your teen is no different from praising a toddler after going to the bathroom successfully or for good behavior. Here is the thing. There are parallels when it comes to raising teens and toddlers. Toddlers are transforming from babies to children, and teens are transforming from children to adults. Both of these phases bring plenty of confusion, and adolescence is more of a transformative time than toddlerhood.
However, both phases need plenty of praise for good behavior. For instance, if your teen cleaned up the dishes after dinner without even being asked, be sure to tell your teen that was an awesome job he or she did. Don’t make it sound sarcastic or over the top. Just say it in a conversational way. Your teen will actually appreciate that even though he or she will not let it show, but this is an incentive for your teen to continue on with displaying good and responsible behavior.
Parenting teens is not an easy task since during adolescence is when the biggest changes are happening in their bodies, and as a result, they will be exerting their independence and acting out. That will cause them to become defiant. However, if parents follow these 5 strategies, then they can help their teens obey the rules and understand what is expected of them. The bottom line is while parents place these rules, they must respect their teens as that also makes a huge difference whether or not they are receptive.