Teenage parenting is fraught with various teenage behaviour problems, which can prove to be very challenging. Even if these problems are not very serious, parents can often get flustered dealing with issues that they have never faced in the past. Most parents are confused about the level of freedom they are giving their teenagers; whether they are doing enough; whether their parenting style is good enough. They fear about leaving the reins too lose and at the same time being too strict. Below are some tips that can help you in these testing times:
Be firm but forgiving: Seek their cooperation to follow rules around the house. Be firm when required and don't give in to your teen's tantrums. At the same time remember to forgive your teenager. That is often a hard thing to do when parenting adolescents; especially if you are facing teenage behaviour problems, but remember they are just learning.
Recognize that every child is different: The worst thing any parent can do is compare siblings or children of friends. This will only breed further teenage behaviour problems. You need to recognise if there is genuinely a problem with your teenager and find ways to help them solve their problems independently, and not use their elder sisters/brothers or some friend as a benchmark.
Allow them to be: Let your teen take over decisions that you have been making for them till now. In the case of disagreements, verbally spell out the conflict and end with a question: "What do you think you could do?" or "What are your options?" Help your teen list a few options that they may not have thought of by asking questions. Hold your tongue just before you're ready to say, "I think you should..." If the outcome of a particular decision made by your teen was not as expected, do talk to your teen about what happened. Discuss what they might do differently the next time and do not be judgmental. Give your teen positive feedback and tell them that you are proud that they took on this challenging situation.
Nip disruptive behaviour in bud: Try to spot changes in mood and behaviour at home and at school for signs of possible disruptive behaviour. With these clues, engage in discussions if possible, or simply let them know you are there and available if they need you. Fund solutions to problems they are facing. Once the reason is clearly defined, finding a solution becomes easier. Finally, the source of most teenage behaviour problems is stress. Therefore you will need to find ways to help deal with that stress. Give opportunities to your teenager to get involved in some activities like sports or exercising etc.
In the book "Solving Teenage Problems", more tips have been provided to deal with teenage behaviour problems and all other problems that stem from teenage depression or stress. Several models have also been provided to structure an effective and fruitful discussion with your teen. Helping your teenager out to navigate through this difficult phase of their life is very crucial to make them a responsible and confident adult.
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