It’s normal for teens to go through periods of rebellion when they butt heads with their parents. Some kids push a little too hard. Your child may be constantly arguing with you or even simply ignoring you. You may find yourself longing for the little girl who wanted to sit on your lap while you read a story or begged you to take her for a walk in the woods. Though your first instinct may be to push back against your teen’s behavior, this isn’t always the smartest move.
Love your child no matter what. When your child starts ignoring you or being rude to you, take care not to mimic this behavior, which can only make the problem worse. Instead, your teen needs to know that you are there for her and that you love her no matter what. Do this by talking to her even when she’s ignoring you.
Set reasonable limits. When you are making rules for your teen, such as a curfew or limiting how she can use the Internet, ask other parents what types of rules they have for their children. If you set curfew at 10 p.m. while other parents have set curfew at 11 p.m., your child is more likely to ignore your rules.
Pick your battles wisely. Your son may come home one day with a Mohawk, or your daughter may want to pierce her belly button. Teenagers often tend to play around with their image as a way of deciding who they really are. Give her this freedom with her appearance and put your foot down only when it comes to the really important things, like smoking or drinking alcohol.
Talk to your teen about difficult topics. Although it can be embarrassing, you need to keep open lines of communication when it comes to sex, drugs and alcohol. If you don’t want to have a formal sit-down conversation, use news stories or current movies and TV shows to broach the topic.
Insist on family dinners. Eating dinner together as a family can improve communication between you and your teen, which will help you understand the changes he’s going through and bring you closer together, making it less likely that your teen will act out.
Enforce any consequences that you set. Consequences should fit the rule that your teen breaks. For example, if she breaks curfew, she cannot go out for a week.
- punk fashion model image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com