How Should Parents Motivate Their Rebellious And Hostile Teenagers?
I was that hostile and rebellious teenager. I am happily married now to my wife of 15 years with 2 children. My life is on track and things are going well. First, never give up hope on them.
Second, try to find out, lovingly and patiently, what is bothering them. Something must have happened (though not always) to bring this attitude and approach to life on. Give them all the time they need to tell you (Months if necessary). Finally, love them as they are. Don't push them to change. Love them without conditions. It will be difficult, but anger, judgment, and pushing them will not do. Never lose hope. Always love.
I agree with Michael that hope and love are required but would add trust. The question is how to build up your teenager's trust in sharing information with you. I have found through my own kids, teaching at church, and through being a houseparent of 10 beautiful teenage girls that they are some of the most loyal beings on earth. But you have to earn their loyalty and trust. In my case what has worked to get a teen to open up depends on their personality. One child may be motivated by attention and affection, reassuring him that you value him as a person and love that he is in your life; another of my children is very motivated to loyalty and trust through eating her favorite meals or snacks together, going out to eat or gifts and shopping. You really have to find out what your child's love language is, if it is not the same as yours your efforts at showing love may not come across to them. Lastly, be available when they are ready to talk. We only have them a little while...
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