5 Rules for Parenting the Strong-willed Adolescent
Not all teenagers are stubborn but occasionally parents encounter one that’s determined to do exactly as they please, no matter what the parent has to say about it. Oftentimes, stubbornness and other forms of disrespectful behaviors in adolescents are a part of their development and a passing phase but sometimes you have to put on a pin on these behaviors as a matter of urgency before the kid becomes legally troubled.
Legally troubled teens are teens who have managed to get into trouble with the law. Having a legally troubled teen is usually a source of sleepless nights and emotional trauma for most parents. It can also be financially tasking. According to Aaron Black a Phoenix criminal lawyer, “Every criminal charge requires a criminal lawyer to vigorously fight your case every step of the way.” In other words, it doesn’t matter how young your teen is, a criminal charge could cost you a lot and change your child’s life forever if not properly handled.
Many teenagers will try to experiment with drugs, shoplifting, acting out, and even robbery without fully understanding the consequences that these actions may bring. It’s up to the parents to do something urgently to change these behaviors because once a child outgrows their adolescent phase, these patterns could get pretty much set in stone. Here are a few tips on how to parent your strong-willed adolescent and steer them on the right path.
Stop Thinking You Did Something Wrong
Many parents waste a lot of time blaming themselves for their children’s inappropriate behaviors but the truth remains that apportioning blames does not help in any way to fix the problem. What matters is whether you’re willing to take responsibility for your child’s parenting going forward. You must also stop blaming the child and try to get them to start taking responsibility for their actions.
Don’t Argue With Your Angry Teen
It’s pretty easy to find yourself in a loud argument with your angry teen but this almost always yields no positive results. Continue to keep your cool when they’re angry and repeat the rules calmly. Angry teens are usually known to act out when they can’t have their way so don’t let their words or actions shock you into doing things you shouldn’t do. Allow them to vent if they need to, and then calmly reprimand them when they’re done. Remember never to overreact when dealing with adolescents. No matter how much they provoke you, the aim is always to teach and not just to punish. So if they’re not learning any lessons from your reprimands, consider that you might be doing it wrong.
Don’t Let them Get you Upset
There are angry teens all over the world so do not personalize your child’s behavior. Sometimes they try to get you to feel just as angry as they feel and if you fall for it, that means you’re giving them power over you. Their behaviors are hardly ever a personal attack on your parenting; rather it might be a product of their developmental cycle or something else they’re going through.
Be a Role Model
This is a rather obvious tip but many parents still fall short in this area. If you have problems with alcohol consumption, for instance, it will be really difficult to stop your teen from experimenting with alcohol. The same goes for if you’re constantly telling lies and trying to teach your kids the importance of speaking the truth or trying to curtail your child’s smartphone addiction when you’re struggling with one yourself. Teens learn more from what you do than what you say, so try to be a good role model for your troubled teen by acting the way you’ll expect them to act.
Draw a Line at Physical Abuse and Other Illegal Behaviors
Sometimes teens will push your buttons, gradually measuring how much disrespect you’re willing to allow. If you let misdemeanors such as shoplifting, public intoxication, or possession of cannabis slide, soon you may find yourself dealing with much bigger charges. Let him be aware that the consequences for some behaviors are simply out of your hands and he has to face a higher authority when caught indulging in such acts.
Try to Find Out Why He Acts The Way He Does
Don’t be too engrossed in trying to change your teen that you’re not listening to them. Sometimes your kid is trying to tell you something through their actions that they’ve been finding difficult to communicate with words. Young people need to be heard, so if you feel you don’t understand them, you may need to hire a professional to talk to your child and find out what the issue is.
Reward Good Behavior
Never let yourself become the enemy. Create room for warm family moments even when you’re punishing your teen. Sometimes it’s so easy to remain so focused on their past bad behaviors that you miss it when they make attempts to change or apologize. Teens will act out even more if they feel that their achievements and attempts at good behavior go unnoticed, so always reward good behaviors. According to the CDC, some ways to reward good behaviors in your children include affection, praise, attention, and activities.