How to Deal with Difficult Teenagers
Solutions of difficult teenagers
Not rules: Just boundaries
Have a sense of humor
Stay calm and composed
Never put your teenager down
Try to make your teenager independent
Show empathetic attitude
Don’t try to calm your teenager on the spot
In a nutshell
One of my relatives came to me and asked, “How to deal with my son who is difficult teenager?” I told him that smart screen age had many challenges regarding parenting especially parenting difficult teenagers because of the difference of priorities between parents and teenagers.
Teenage is considered the age to decide the future of a teenager but unluckily, teenagers mostly remain unaware of this reality, while parents over emphasize that thing and result is chaos.
In this article, let us try to understand the causes to make children difficult teenagers and their solutions.
While parenting difficult teenagers, following strategies will play the role of a torch bearer to assess the nature of difficulty and its way out.
It is man’s natural inborn quality to live a rule free life; this phenomenon is especially true to teenagers who want to live according to their own wishes. Keeping this notion in mind, making strict rules to follow will not be as result oriented as is drawing flexible boundaries.
As a parent, if you want your child to sleep at 11’O clock at night, you can say your child that you are free to sleep at any time before 11’O clock. Pressurize to sleep before that specific time is one thing; to show flexibility to sleep at any time before some definite is another thing. The former attitude shows strict approach regarding the application of fixed rules while the latter one shows flexible approach.
Difficult teenagers don’t like being driven by outer forces; even in the form of parents.
In a nutshell, we can say that governance of difficult teenagers by demonstrating flexibility is one of the best strategies to handle difficult teenagers.
Parenting difficult teenagers in the age of social media is no less than a Herculean task; especially because of the busy schedules of most of the parents. As a parent, you cannot stop you teenager from using cell phone but some limitations can be applied to save your child from sexting.
I have already written on the topic of sexting and other challenges and issues emerged by using social media sites. Related to this, a story of my friend and his son is flashing in my mind.
My friend was a simpleton villager and didn’t know about the use of laptop. His son forced his father to arrange one laptop for him. When the laptop was gifted the teenager, he started playing PUBG which is a dangerous game and destroys mental peace. He lost his interest in studies and starting living alone occupied in his room. He lost his health also.
After some days, when I visited my friend and met his son, then we came to know the whole issue. I coached that boy and he felt the severity of the problem and left that addiction of playing PUBG.
Difficult time comes on all; some become great, some become small. This couplet demonstrates the importance of humor in making the difficult things very light as humor releases stress free hormones.
When you, as a parent, see the humorous side of any incident or happening, you start enjoying your time with teenagers who love to enjoy with family.
Contrary to that, dealing with difficult teenagers, if you focus on the grim side of any event, they would not feel easy talking with you. This will instill communication barriers which are the source of further parental problems.
As it is said that we have to cultivate goodness; evil happens automatically. In the same way, being angry is natural: being humorous and comic is your choice and life is the sum choices of all that you take: according to a famous scholar. So, choose to be humorous and funny and enjoy your parenting of hard teenagers.
A proven formula, “Be the change, you want to see in the world”, is quite appropriate during the parenting phase of tough teenagers because your child follows you. Instead of saying your child to remain calm and composed, you as a parent need to exhibit calmness and composition in your own personality.
Insult of your child in front of other people creates hate in his heart which is a poison both for you and your teenager. Imagine, if someone insults you, how you feel. You get enraged and hyper even if fault is yours.
Same is applied on your teenager as well because he has self-respect and self-esteem. Playing with the ego of your teenager results in chaos and everyone faces restlessness and uneasiness at home.
So, give respect to your child; in future, he will multiply it while giving back to you.
This is such a phase in the life of a teenager when he wants to be independent. Assigning responsibilities to your teenager can be very motivating and encouraging because he feels empowered and independent.
Here a question arises!
Why does your teenager want to be independent?
Because, it represents maturity and confidence and your teenager wants from other people to realize this shift from being dependent to independent.
The most important thing that parents should have in mind, while nurturing difficult teenagers, is that your child comes in this world through you. You are not the owner of your child; you are just a caregiver and you only assist nature in smooth functioning of the universe.
Keep these minor points in mind and dealing with difficult teenagers would be a plain sailing for you.
Remember your teenage phase when you yourself were a teenager.
Did you not commit those mistakes which your child is committing?
Did not you show any lapse in your character?
If your answer is “yes”, you should accept your child’s attitude and show empathy regarding difficult teenagers. Believe me, empathetic attitude towards your difficult teenager will change him miraculously and his attitude will be praise worthy. Patience is the key to success in this challenge.
When your teenager is angry, his sense of thinking decreases to considerable extent. Same is true to elders even.
Let us try to understand it with a practical example.
Once Buddha was sitting near a stream of water and asked his disciple to bring water from the stream. He went but came back after some time and told Buddha that dirt was mixed with water because, some people had just crossed the stream and mud was mixed with clear water. After some time, when he was again sent to bring water, it was very clean. He brought water and gave it to his mentor.
On seeing clean water in the pot, Buddha said that same was true to the mind of human beings. When human beings are angry, thoughts are mixed up and it is difficult to take right decision at that time because mind is biased at that moment.
Apply that philosophy to tackle difficult teenagers and find unusual results.
Applying these strategies will be helpful to deal with your difficult teenagers because these are scientifically research based proven strategies. It is up to you to apply some or all the strategies to deal with your difficult teenagers.
If you have devised any other strategy to deal with tough and difficult teenagers, do share with us in the comment box and we will include it in our next blog.
Wish you happy and successful parenting.