As the parent of an unruly teenager, you are probably experiencing a little deja vu. It appears that everything that you went through with your parents as a teenager, is repeating itself. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t seem like that long ago. Dealing with teenagers hasn’t really changed much throughout history, as all of the same things are going on. The prospect of growing up, and the awkwardness of the body and brain going through many chemical and hormonal changes can cause anyone to act a little crazy and be a bit unpredictable. This is all normal.
Parents have a tendency to try molding their teenager into a carbon copy of their self, minus any of the mistakes they made. This can be very annoying to the teen, and the reaction is total disrespect. These are the years when a teen becomes highly embarrassed to even be seen with parents or family. It is normal for a parent to worry about their children, but when a mother looks at her teenager and stills sees the toddler she watched so carefully, it’s hard to accept the child changing into an adult.
For the best results in dealing with teenagers, the parents need to realize that their maturing child is an individual. Don’t try pushing ideas on them that applied to you at that age. Times have changed. Giving advice is the proper approach. Let your child know that they can trust you, and keep the lines of communication wide open. Let them know you can talk about anything, without having a negative reaction or getting upset. Don’t be so assertive with rules that they become scared of you. Don’t sneak around behind your teens back or spy on them, this kind of activity can backfire and create mistrust that can never be renewed. At this stage of the game. it’s better to act like a friend, rather than a parent.
No matter what happens, make time to stop everything and give your child a big hug to let them know that you love them. Every parent and child are unique with individual personalities, and knowing what to do in different situations is not an exact science. If you have a child that is getting ready to go through those changes, make sure to invest in a good, up to date, teenage guide book, to have something to fall back on, just in case. Always remember, to get respect, you have to give respect.