Parental Information During Our Kids Adolescence, Part 2

October 15, 2012

They are experiencing many changes all at once. In addition, in order to be able to obtain what they want, teens often experiment with behaviors that will at best upset their parents and at worst cause the parents anguish and feelings of loss of control. However, if parents know in advance and expect these “testing” behaviors to appear during their child’s adolescence, they will be better equipped to respond calmly, firmly, appropriately and lovingly.

Expect: teenagers may tire the parents out until they say, “yes.” They may be on their best behavior if they want something very much. The may say or do something to get their parents upset, they may take undue advantage of their parent “fears” and use threats such as, “If you don’t give me what I want, something awful will happen to me and then you will be sorry.” All of this may seem like very familiar scenarios. What can you do as the parent? Your kids want the following from you: To stay calm, maintain your “cool.”

Adolescents don’t like to see their parents lose control. They want to know who is boss. In their very confusing life, young people need to have clear rules and specific limits. Be consistent. Don’t act like teenagers yourselves. Teen feel uncomfortable when their parents try to act like adolescents.

They need role models who will maintain authority and give then security. So don’t be afraid to punish. Consequences for behaviors that are not acceptable should be applied consistently. Don’t give them everything that they want. Not everything that young people wish for is good for them. Parents should use their best judgment.

Be firm in your own values at home. Teenagers need to have a strong foundation of values. This will help them deal with their own insecurities of weaknesses. If you really ask your kids these questions, they will usually tell you what they really want from you (even though it may not seem like it). I always ask parents to go back in time and think about how it was for them. Do you want to repeat the same thing, or do you want something better for your kids? You were lucky if your family was “perfect,” but there are not many perfect families. We only try to be the best we can be.

If we are able to bring new information and parenting “tools” to the table, we are much better off. Remember, the adolescent years can be very confusing for your children.

Try to be a parent who will “validate” them, not humiliate them. Guide them and let them put their trust in you, and allow them to confide in you. You will find they will feel safer with you. Teens need a place to belong. Good luck, and hang in there. This is the “toughest” job you will ever love.

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