In the ideal world, children listen to their parents, accept discipline willingly, and live a trouble-free life. But the reality is, of course, far from that. What most parents face everyday are defiant teens refusing to be taught, playing with danger. This often causes a rift in the entire family, conflicts not just between parents and children, but also between spouses, and even siblings.
How do you deal with this serious family problem? Here are some of the best ways to approach your stubborn teen:
Understand where they’re coming from
There’s a reason your teen is behaving this way. The challenge is knowing what exactly it is. You won’t know if you don’t ask. There’s also a good chance that you’re not asking because you feel that your children wouldn’t want to open up. But here’s the thing, you won’t know unless you try.
In doing the talk with your teen, remember that you’re not there to judge, rather the goal is to understand them. The key to encouraging them to open up is to do it yourself first. When you put down your guard and bare your life concerns and anxieties, there’s a high chance that they’d do the same. This is what psychologists call mutual vulnerability. If necessary, get the help of experts in family counseling. Broomfield experts can better facilitate healthy discussions between you and your kid.
Let them experience failure
Teens have a natural tendency to test boundaries or push limits. Some do it out of curiosity, while others do it out of rebellion. Regardless of the motive, the best way to deal with the situation is (sometimes) to let them be.
Of course, letting go isn’t the easiest thing to do, given that you’re well aware of the consequences of bad actions. But there are instances when learning the hard way is the best and only way to change. Besides, you can’t go on your life controlling every bit of your child’s life. You have to surrender at some point.
Nonetheless, never get tired in giving them sound advice when possible. Be their voice of reason when they choose to go astray. When they do experience failure or downfall, be there for them. Support them in getting back up. But do let them realize the consequences of their actions.
Express your care for them
In long-standing conflicts between teens and parents, the disconnect is so strong that both no longer feel that they care for each other. No matter how distant or defiant your child can be, show them your love nonetheless.
Tell them how important their well-being is to you. Give a listening ear, regardless of how unreasonable they may sound. Reach out to them, at the same time, give them space. It takes some good discerning when it’s wise to do which, but you know your child better than anyone, so trust your gut feeling. This can be exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally. Consult your counselor, especially when your own personal feelings get out of control and affect your daily routines.
It’s a real struggle for parents to deal with stubborn teens, but the fact that you’re struggling means that you hope that your child will be okay eventually. Protect that hope. Inspire it with your unconditional love.