How much easier would life be if raising a teenage came with some kind of step by step manual? Or maybe a magic wand that makes all the challenges disappear? Between the surly attitude, increased secretive nature, and problems that can arise in troubled teens in particular, you may be at your wits end.
These are the five most common issues teens have with their behavior at home, and what you can do about them.
“I Hate You!”
The first time they say it feels like a shard of glass in your heart. But now you are growing accustomed to the venom, and the constant disdain that seems to drip from them every time they are in the same room.
Don’t worry, they don’t actually hate you. Part of this is a normal response to their attempt to separate themselves from you and become their own person. The rest is likely a result of their hormones, stresses, and the tumultuous emotions of growing up. Try and remain calm; remember that it will pass.
It is the third night in a row that your teen is late for curfew, and you are steaming mad. They know they are supposed to be home at 9:00 PM sharp, an hour less than before thanks to a punishment due to their last curfew break. When they walk through the door you are ready for a screaming match, and they are on the defensive.
This is one case where it might be more reasonable to compromise. Extending the curfew a bit with their promise to be responsible, and giving them a little leeway could help solve many problems, simply by making them feel like they have more control.
Every time you see your teen these days, their eyes are on a screen. It may be their phone, their tablet, their computer, or a gaming console. You feel they are losing touch with their environment, including with you and the rest of their family.
Your best course of action is to set reasonable boundaries on screen time. Don’t allow them to use their phone during meal times. Require that they finish all homework every night. Set a time at night where phones have to go off, and enforce it.
Your teens friend group has been bothering you for awhile. You know they are engaging in risky behaviors, getting into trouble, and perhaps even doing drugs. But any time you bring it up, your child reacts so strongly that there is no getting through.
Forbidding your child from hanging out with certain kids will only lead to trouble. Have an open and calm conversation instead.
Mountains Out of Molehills
A tiny thing goes wrong, and it turns into crying and screaming hysterics. Every little issue becomes a massive drama, and nothing you say or do helps.
This is perfectly normal. What might seem like nothing for you could feel like everything for your teen. Try and be understanding, don’t minimize their feelings, and don’t offer solutions. Just listen and extend your support.
To learn more visit Liahona Academy.
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