Dealing with a difficult teenager can sometimes push even the calmest of parents to breaking point. However it is important to try and take a step back and remember that there are a number of factors that can contribute towards this challenging behaviour. Some of these factors can include heightened hormones, body changes, peer pressure and their growing need for independence.
To help your teen cope with their emotions and to help you deal with their difficult behaviour in a more constructive way, here are a few tips form a Sixth Form College in London…
Take time out to listen
Making time to listen to your child is the best way to understand what is going on in their world and what could be causing your child’s behaviour. Do they have problems at school? Do they have issues with friends? Are they worried about something? – Try to set aside some valuable alone time and let them know that you are always there to listen and to help.
Let them make choices
It is important to show trust and let your teenager make their own choices and allow them to learn from mistakes (to an extent). Teenagers are often battling for more independence and it can help your relationship to let them explore this, as long as you feel that they are safe.
Set fair boundaries
It is important to have boundaries and for your child to respect them. After all, they will need to adhere to certain rules throughout their life, such as at university or at work. Explain that it is ok to feel anger and frustration, however there are unacceptable ways of expressing it. Be firm that if certain boundaries are crossed then they will lose certain privileges.
Give them space
As much as it can be hard to notice your child spending less time with you, it is important to allow them to have their own space. Teenagers need time alone to explore their own interests and grow. This space and privacy needs to be respected by all the family, but it is also important to ensure that you still spend time together.