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Managing Rebellious Teen Years

The teenage years are a rite of passage. They certainly come with their fair share of hardships and challenges. The only thing more challenging than being a teen is being the parent of one! So, how exactly can you go about successfully managing those rebellious years while still holding onto your sanity? Here is some advice to put to good use.

1. Empathize with your child

As a parent, you have something working in your favor – you were once a teenager, too. Try to remember how challenging of a time it was whenever your child acts out and do your utmost to empathize with their situation before losing your cool. Be as understanding as possible at the moment and think deeply before reacting to troublesome behavior.

2. Set age-appropriate rules

It is tempting to tell your teen that they are not allowed to date or that their curfew will be 10 pm for the entire duration of their high school experience. However, extremely strict rules that do not evolve as your teen gets older are likely to encourage further rebellion.

3. Communication

Teens are notorious for keeping to themselves. However, excellent communication between kids and their parents is always an essential aspect of that relationship and is key to successfully navigating through those difficult years. Never force your child to speak openly to you but be sure to continuously remind them that you are there to chat at any time if they need to.

When they do come to you with a problem or a question, remember to listen intently and to withhold judgment. How you handle each conversation will determine if and when they will come to you with similar issues again in the future.

4. Keep an eye out for worrisome behavior

Teenagers will always have to cope with things like peer pressure, bullying, and temptation in the form of drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, you cannot protect them from all of this. The best that you can do, aside from educating them in terms of making responsible decisions, is to know what signs to watch out for.

Any changes in their mood, friendship circle, or general behavior could indicate a problem. Be sure to seek out help at a reputable teenager-specific treatment center, such as, if ever you suspect that something is amiss.

5. Pay attention to your own behavior

How you deal with issues that arise throughout this time will have a substantial impact on how seamlessly you both make your way through it. Always strive to remain calm and in control in all your dealings with your teen. Furthermore, do your best to set good examples. If you don’t want your child to party until all hours of the morning and start drinking excessively, make sure that you are not doing this either. Children and teen often model their behavior on that of their parents.

Be confident in your ability to get through this and to help your child do the same. Before you know it, they will be resilient, happy young adults ready to live their best lives as good citizens and people, and it will be thanks to you.

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