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The Terrible Teen Years
Your Child Who Once Used To Listen To You Can Now Dare Point You Are Wrong And He Is Right. Why?
That is all part of growing up. You need to get them under control, if you hope to have peace in the home, anytime between now and the time that they move out.
It's the psychological need to become fully independant from our parents. This is healthy emotional growth and necessary for a healthy sense of identity - though not easy to deal with! (I know I have a 16 yr old and also work with young people.)
It's really hard to let go of our children and let them become adults in their own right because we have been so busy guiding and influencing them since they were born. It's hard for us parents to change our role and relationship to them.
That doesn't mean we should accept bad behaviour. They need clear rules and clear consequences but they do need room to grow also. It's hard to juggle the two!
Can you imagine the reverse? A 40 yr old that still needs you to take them to work, help make all their decisions, etc etc.
Yes, teens do have a psychological need to become independent. It is hard to let go, yet time to do so...in small steps and as they are earned.
Do not hesitate to express your pleasure and pride in them when they DO act responsibly. Asking their opinion about issues seems one of the best ways to improve communication.
At the same time, to ignore irresponsible behavior and verbal abuse from a teen is to encourage more of it. When teens begin a trend of this, it is time to act - but with calm dignity - avoid verbal battles. Make expectations and consequences known and then be consistent.
While it is nearly impossible to force a defiant teen to DO the things we want them to do, I'm amazed at the number of parents who continue giving them money, privileges, cell phones, etc. in the face of defiant and irresponsible behavior.
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