6 Ways to Be a Better Parent to Your Teen

 Simple ways you can be a better parent

Having first-hand experience in parenting a troubled teen, the following “6 Parenting Hazards” outlined by Troubled Teens Help  is some of the most accurate, helpful information I’ve read.

Meaningless Threats

When your unruly teenager pushes your buttons, do you often end up bursting with meaningless threats which are full of emotion but not realistic? If you’ve heard yourself using the line “It’s my way or the highway!” too many times, then you should try to restrain yourself. Making threats like these are normally counter productive.

Exaggeration

Again, when you are overcome with emotion it may be very easy to blow off steam and impose a penalty which is over the top. If you’ve heard yourself saying “You can’t date until your 21!” then you may be exaggerating your penalties. When you exaggerate your penalties, you in turn make it harder for yourself to follow through on imposing them. They may not be realistic enough to enforce or impossible to monitor. As much as you can, restrain yourself from exaggerating even when wrought with anger. But if you do make a mistake, then talk to your teenager when you’re feeling more placid and clarify the reason behind your exaggeration, after which you may explain an appropriate penalty.

Being Fickle-minded

How many times have you changed your mind on a penalty after your defiant teen pesters you about your ways of disciplining him? By wavering on your decisions, you are giving a chance for a power shift to occur from you to your child. If he notices that your mind can change, he will look for ways to keep the situation in his favor. You are demeaning your own authority by being fickle and your words may lose their weight or meaning.

Lack of Monitoring

If you leave your troubled teen to be after you specifically ask him to complete a task, you can expect that he may not do it. It’s important for you to monitor how your teenager responds to your authority. If you fail to do so, then you should not be so harsh as to penalize him for not accomplishing the task assigned. Help your teenager out by following through.

Disarray within the parental unit

You and your spouse are individuals that may each have your own parenting strategies. This may be a cause for confusion in your teenager though. Frequently, a defiant teen will look to the other parent when one denies his wants. If the other parent gives in to these wants, then you may experience ill feelings not just towards your child but towards your spouse as well. The strength of the parental unit and it’s authority over the child will crumble as both parents are busy dealing with the conflict that emerges between themselves. Your troubled teen will be left to man the front.

Inconsistent Responses to Behavior

If you catch yourself responding in a myriad of ways to a particular behavior, depending on your mood, then you may just be setting yourself up for disobedience on your child’s part. When they realize the inconsistency in your responses to their actions, they may just choose to ignore your rules or penalties.

If you’re the parent of a troubled teen and you don’t see yourself falling into some or all of these hazard areas then you need to take a closer look at yourself and your parenting.

Parenting a troubled teen is stressful.  Unless there is immediate danger we do not need to address our teen’s behavior the moment it happens.  When we react emotionally to our teen’s behavior it pulls us into position of being powerless because we are not focusing on resolving the issue but rather on releasing our emotions.  When their behavior pushes our buttons we tend to want to push back.  We need to be mindful of these parenting hazards and not allow our buttons to be pushed.  Remember that though we can’t control our teen’s behavior we do have control over our reactions to that behavior.

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JennSmith

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