One day you are getting your child ready for her first day at school, and then before you know it, she is a teenager. She begins pushing you away from her and may tell you that you don’t understand her and that you do not even know her anymore. The teenage years can be jarring for any parent. What was once an easy relationship can become a loaded minefield.
Teenagers are impulsive and tend to say the first thing that comes to mind and to act without thinking. Changes in the brain may be partly responsible for your teen’s seeming transformation. The ability to make decisions is not mature until people are 24, according to Psychology Today. This explains the impulsivity of teenagers but not necessarily the moodiness that teens display toward their parents.
Sense of Identity
Teenagers are trying to find out who they are, so to speak. This uncertainty involves much self-questioning, self-discovery and self-development. Teenagers tend to look toward peers to figure this out instead of their parents, according to Psychology Today. In a teen’s mind, because he is going through this discovery process, he feels humiliated when his mom won’t let him go out for the night, for example. This implies that you don’t trust him to make his own decisions. If you ask your teen if he has his wallet, for example, he bristles. His friend can ask that, but not you. When his friend asks, it seems like a natural question, but when you ask, it seems as if you are treating him like a child. Teens want to expel the child within; they do not appreciate a parent’s reminders.
Change the Relationship
Arguments are a way for a teenager to change her relationship with her parents. A teenager wants to make you see that she is not a child anymore. Her feelings can be so strong that a quiet conversation may not feel right to her. She has strong feelings and expresses them strongly. These emotions often result in teenagers saying more than they normally would, according to Psychology Today. These quarrels are not necessarily bad. You should recognize them as a normal part of a teen’s growth. You can quarrel, and it can be positive as long as it doesn’t end with both parties brooding and angry.
You can turn arguments with your teen into lively debates, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. You can explain your position to your teenager at these times. Instead of simply telling her what the rules are, you can have a debate on why you have certain rules. This way, you can both understand and trust each other better. You may be able to resolve certain problems together as well.
The teen years are the time that you should ask yourself what type of parent you are, according to the Kids Health website. You should be aware of how controlling you are, if you listen to your teen and if you allow your teen to have different opinions than you have. You can also help alleviate some arguments if you prepare your teen before issues become problems. For example, you can talk to your child about sex, drugs and alcohol before he is tempted to engage in these activities.
- teenager image by Alta.C from Fotolia.com