Is Coping With Tween Behavior Possible?
I have been through the troublesome teen years and looking back I know how difficult I acted. If I could bend backwards and change one thing about my teen life, it would definitely be the weird temper tantrums I threw at my mom.
As soon as the hormone fairy strikes, teenagers become a bit difficult to handle. We all are guilty of rolling our eyes, talking back, and revolting against discipline that parents put us under during our teen years. And now when the tables turn, as a parent we are bound to face the same endless fits, rages, not so subtle contempt for everything you do and aggressive revolts. There has to be a way, a trick or two to make coping with teen behavior easy.
If you too are raising a difficult teen, following these tips might help.
The first step towards coping with tween behavior- Establish boundaries
However hard you may try to be your teen’s best friend, bear in mind your efforts will not achieve 100% results. Your teen is experimenting, developing new likes and dislikes, and figuring out life. There’s a lot going on with them physically and emotionally. Give them a little space to exercise their new found freedom but establish clear boundaries. If you cannot tolerate late night outings, be specifically clear and let them know that’s the nuclear switch, which if turned on won’t be pretty. Ignore all the eye rolls and stamping feet. However, there’s a fine line between being reasonable and acting like a dictator. Know what’s important for you, like their grades, qualities as a human being, sense of right or wrong. Anything that doesn’t amount to this in the long run, let go off it. Let blow-off the steam, some times.
Remember you are the parent
Despite the popular notion that being your teen’s friend helps in thwarting the rudeness, I hold a bit different view. It’s great you are friendly and your teen is comfortable in approaching you over any matter. But trying to be your teen’s best friend can spell disaster sometimes. You might end up losing the parental status, just to be liked by your son/ daughter. Remember, as a parent your main job isn’t to be liked by your child but to raise a responsible good human being. And in the journey to achieve this, you’ll sure end up as a bad cop several times. Your child should view you as a parent, knowing you still have the authority to make decisions for them. As always, exercise caution while coping with tween behavior and don’t take the power game to far. The end result is to raise a well behaved child not win a power battle.
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Let them make few mistakes
Nobody can grow without committing mistakes and learning from them. Just like being way too friendly with your child could bear counter-productive results, not allowing them to exercise their freedom can get you the title of ‘control freak’. The key is to be balanced while coping with tween behavior. Understand that however hard you may try, you can never fully control somebody else’s life. Let your children commit mistakes and learn from them on their own.
Yes, punishments are necessary. I am not talking about corporal punishments. While positive reinforcement worked well for preschoolers and toddlers, things aren’t as easy with teens. Some moms report taking away any favorite activity/ object from the teen as punishment works out good. For instance, I do know my sibling hated being grounded and not allowed to spend weekend with her best friend. And this punishment used to scare her enough to follow all guidelines set by dad. Try similar punishments like revoking their right to stay out on weekends, taking away their Xbox, no-shopping for a month, no parties etc. to discipline your unruly teenager.
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Do not argue, Discuss Instead
Might seem like a silly advice because teenagers in house means endless arguments, but still do not argue. Arguments turn toxic within seconds and probably there will be a lot of hurtful comments from either side. It is best to cut off from such situations and not talk to your teen till they calm down. Nobody can rationalize things during heated arguments. When things have settled down, hold positive discussions to understand their point of view too and try to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. In case you do not agree or find their demand irrational, let them know about it politely but firmly. Reciprocate respect and win respect in return. Let your child know when their comments hurt you and never hesitate to apologize if you feel you had been unreasonable lately. Remember, your child isn’t technically a ‘child’ anymore and do understand complex human emotions. Give them the respect they deserve.
Spend time with them
Spending time together is a wonderful way to build relationship and win your teen’s trust and respect. Spend time with them doing anything they love, be it a gym session, attending a dancing lesson, cooking or listening to music. Spend some quality time together to understand each other better.
Do you have any other suggestion that works out well while coping with tween behavior? Do let us know in comments.
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