As a parent of 2 young children, I can understand how frustrated one feels when facing challenges on parenting and don’t know who else to talk to… Hope the following tips help.
Does the statement “My child used to be a sweet angel and now he’s turned into a hideous monster!” ring any bells? Or does “It used to be so easy to get my children to communicate until they turned into teenagers; they’re like aliens now, speaking a different language.” pull any heartstrings?
How to deal with argumentative teenagers starts with identifying the root cause of certain behaviours.
Confused and rebellious are two words usually associated with teens. Puberty brings out the best and worst in teenagers. The physiological changes they experience, together with the demands of school, home and peers create an emotional turmoil within them.
Here are a few tips for parents dealing with teenagers:
1. Recognize the changes
Teens sometimes become argumentative as a sign of asserting independence. You have to come to terms with the fact that your ‘children’ are no longer little kids—they are teenagers. And that means there are a lot of things that have to change as part of them growing up. For instance, you can’t expect them to stick around the house as much as they did as little kids because they are already forming their own peer groups. Also, you can’t simply shove instructions and expect them to follow without putting up a fight.
2. Respect their new set of needs
Dealing with teenager behaviour means recognizing, understanding and respecting their new set of needs. Teenagers tend to be argumentative and extra assertive when parents seem to take for granted that they have a need for privacy and more space for socialization. Respecting these needs doesn’t mean to let them go totally and have the “If that’s what you want then I don’t care” attitude. Parents need to shift their roles from being the protector and provider to being more of a support system—a guide and a friend should teens need help. Simply put, give your teens some breathing room to make their own choices and learn from their own mistakes.
3. Strike a compromise: Communication is key
Teenagers have a tendency to rebel because of two major things: one, they feel smothered or pushed too much by their parents or two, their parents seem to not care about them at all. The fact that you’re reading this shows that you care enough and want to learn how to deal with teenage rebellion.
How to deal with argumentative teenagers is pretty much the same are dealing with rebellious teens. Rebellious just seems more extreme. Well, communication is key. Try your best to talk to your teen and NOT talk them down. Give them options that are favourable to both of you so you may strike compromise. If you can’t get your teen to do chores because of his extracurricular activities, offer a bargain. For instance you could say “You can attend band practice every Friday if you’ll be the one to walk our dog every Sunday morning.” It’s definitely better than “You can’t go have a band anymore. It’s ruining your life—you’re forgetting your responsibilities at home!”
Adolescence is a very challenging stage as it is. The best that parents can do to deal with argumentative teens is to provide an environment that allows them to grow in preparation to becoming responsible adults.
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