Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an In-Charge Parent
Q. How do I overcome the 16-year-old who does things only on his time frame. For instance, when I ask him to do something, he intentionally takes his time just to upset me. I'm not sure what to do.
A. This is a great question for at least two reasons: It provides an opportunity to share some basic principles for parenting adolescents and lets me deliver some solutions.
The average 16-year-old is 16 going on 26 and 16 going on 6 all at the same time.
Take the verbal ability and "wisdom" of 16 going on 26, mix well with the "I want what I want when I want it, which is now!" of the 16 going on 6, and you have a powerful, demanding and highly manipulative creature.
You cannot "make" a teen-ager do much of anything. At least not without lots of nasty consequences to you, the teen and the relationship.
As I've said many times before, trying to control a teen-ager is like trying to put pants on a gorilla. It's just going to frustrate you and make the gorilla really mad.
With the right strategies, however, you can have a great deal of influence on your teens, their choices and their environments. More on this a little later.
Teen-agers, just like all children, are by nature very obedient.
No, I haven't lost my mind or left the real world. Teens are very obedient to the ways in which we teach them to behave. We teach them how to behave either directly, by our example, or indirectly, by what we allow them to get away with and by what we allow them to do.
Somehow, and it really does not matter so much how, your son has gotten the idea that he can get away with what he is doing.
Here are three solutions to turn this thing around:
1. Our kids are bright and know what bugs us. As they become older, it gets to be a sport to see what they can make us do in our frustration. It makes them feel a little powerful.
So, the first solution is to unhook from the behavior and responses that are so upsetting to you. Since the behaviors have probably been occurring for some time, you simply should stop acting surprised by them. Expect the behavior. When it comes, unhook from the invitation to get upset.
As your son opens his mouth and/or behaves in the way that has upset you up until now, picture a big hook coming out of his mouth straight at you to hook you in. Then picture yourself ducking it, swatting it away or just smiling with your mouth closed.
If nothing else, this will amuse you and cause you to smile in a stressful situation. That will make your child wonder what is going on, which is good in this situation.
2. Next, provide an "illusion of choice and control." Part of the struggle for adolescents is to be more and more in charge of themselves, which involves having more control and choices in their own lives. We want them to be more and more in charge of themselves, or they will be living at your home when they're 30.
So, when you want your teen to complete a task, let's say taking his shoes to his room, here's what you say: "I want you to get your shoes in the bedroom. You can do it now or by the end of the next commercial, (when this show ends, before you go to bed, etc.)" You, as the parent, picks the "by when" part.
3. Follow this up with: "You've got some decisions, choices and results to make. If you decide to choose not to do what I have asked, then the bad result will be ..." _ something you as the parent can control and that will be sufficiently unpleasant to your teen. Since, in this case, he is 16, if he has a driver's license you have some very nice leverage.
You continue: "If you decide to do what I've asked, then the good results will be you get to do more of what you would like to do. I'll be watching to see what you decide."
Then walk away. Don't engage in any debate.
And one more suggestion: As you enter into this plan, you have to be willing to stick with it for the long haul. I can predict that, as you apply these solutions, you will receive some "change back" behavior from your son.
Change back behavior is basically your son saying, "But Mom, I liked it the way it was before when I was in charge. Please tell me you don't really mean this! And, since I think you really don't mean it, I'm going to try my best to get you to back off and change back."
What you will not get is, "Thanks, Mom. What a great solution to this problem we have been having. I think I want to grow up to be a counselor now."
Nope, just won't happen.
Stick with these solutions, and I think you will like the results.
Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring.
Top 25 Children Quotations
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
Children - Blessing or Curse
You're trying to catch up on some sleep on a quiet Saturday morning when you hear the shrill scream of a child, who seems upset with the fact that another child is pointing at him or her, and has done so for the past three minutes. You turn over and hope that they will resolve it without your intervention?but that's unlikely, given their past.
Discipline is a necessary part of parenting yet it makes most parents feel uncomfortable. Some of those old disciplinary phrases such as 'spare the rod and spoil the child', 'teach them a lesson' or 'set children straight' are enough to send shivers up the spine of any reasonable-minded parent.
Uses for Dirty Diapers
As the father of a toddler, I am an expert on dirty diapers. I know exactly what to do with them: throw them out!But along comes a New York waste company and a town in California who want me to do something else with my dirty diapers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Reading To Your Child
Are you worried about your child's reading habits? Perhaps you feel he or she should be starting to read, but they have no interest in books whatsoever? I had the same problem with my son. Gosh, he would rather chew on 'The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes' than read a word from it! Here's a short list of questions which I find very relevant if you're concerned about your kids' reading habits.
Anti Scooter Media Frenzy
An estimated five million scooters will be sold this year and according to the U.S.
Breastfeeding, Its My Right
My name is Duncan and I'm 2 years old. I want to thank my Mommy and Daddy for choosing breastmilk as my only food for my first six months.
Really Good News About Your Children's Video Games
Research published by University of Rochester neuroscientists C. Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier has grabbed national attention for suggesting that playing "action" video and computer games has positive effects - enhancing student's visual selective attention.
When Kids Hurt Parents
The cruel callous remarks made by our offspring can sometimes wound us deeply, to the very core of our soul. The hurtful words of our children can scar us like no other.
Teaching Your Children with Coupons
Coupons can be a great tool in educating your child about saving money, being frugal, and shopping smart. Who doesn't want their children to grow up knowing how to save easily on every purchase? With coupon clipping you'll show them money saving skills they can use throughout their life!Teaching your child with coupons can start at an early age.
Parenting Secrets Revealed
So your little Susie wants to join a competitive gymnastic club? You conclude that this is going to be great fun! Maybe, you even think this is just the ticket your bouncy little girl needs to get rid of her pent-up energy while meeting other little friends. Initially, all seems well as you proudly watch your Susie happily striving to achieve equilibrium success.
Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!
What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research study reports that feeling "unprepared" tops the list for many parents' causes of dissatisfaction. And parents of teenagers, in particular, may feel this acutely as so many changes converge at once: adolescents are changing in every conceivable way while they often push parents away in their search for individuality.
Now, Theyre Bullying My Daughter In Our Home: Welcome To Cyber-Bullying
Last night Tom's daughter, Sue, came out of her room to see her dad and said, "I got another one of those instant messages. It says, 'tomorrow you had better not show up at school or else'.
6 Ways to Communicate Clearly with Your Teen
How would you like to have a closer relationship with your teen again?Your ability to communicate effectively with your teen is one of the most precious skills you can develop to achieve this goal.When we think of communication, we tend to think only of the way we can express ourselves.
Spending Time With Your Child
Why Is Spending Time with Your Child So Important?For children to get any sense that they are loved and wanted, you have to be prepared to spend some time with them. I know you are all thinking, so tell me something I don't know.
Medications: Addressing Parental Fears and Concerns
Recently, a parent came to me, conflicted over whether to follow her pediatrician's recommendation of placing her young son on medication. His difficult behaviors had escalated in recent years and after trying behavioral strategies and food elimination diets, there simply hadn't been much progress in his maintaining himself.
Home For The Holidays: Avoid Aging Parents Becoming A Burden
By not planning for the future we guarantee that we will leave our children with a tremendous burden. Just about the time they are preparing for their own retirement and their children's college education, adult children often are overwhelmed with decision-making for their aging parents.
Raise Awesome Kids! This 4-Point Plan Gets Results
Are your children truthful, kind, and helpful? If so, read no further. If not, please listen to Colby and his mom.
How Children Can Read Faster and Better
For most children, it is easy to learn to read faster. Their reading rate is often a matter of habit.
The Truth About Motherhood
What is the mystery of motherhood? I know that when I was pregnant, experienced mothers could not stop giving me advice on taking care of newborns, delivery expectations and child care solutions. Yet, no mother ever told me how dreadful post partum depression could be, how much my world would change, how one person can bring so much to my life.
|home | site map|