Tips For Handling Difficult Teenagers

Most parents have heard that the teenage years can be particularly challenging.  When kids get to the age where they’re not quite an adult, but they’re no longer little children, it can be a challenging transition to accept.

As a parent, it can be difficult to handle their ever-changing moods, and often challenging behavior.  Although not every teenager goes through a rebellious stage, most of them will still test their limits and start challenging their parents more than ever.  Although this is a natural part of becoming their own person, it can still be frustrating on how to handle.

If you have a teenager who is particularly testing your patience, take a look at these tips as a guide.

Establish Your Boundaries

Since your teen is testing their limits as well as yours, it helps to have a clearly defined set of boundaries.  By showing them how far they can push before you implement consequences, you’ll benefit your relationship.

When they exhibit disrespect or challenging behavior, it’s beneficial to show your limits by taking away privileges which are usually the most valuable things at this age.  You can limit the time that they spend playing video games, or forbid them to go to an event that they’ve been looking forward to.  Putting your foot down doesn’t mean you’re the bad guy, but that you’re helping them understand their actions have consequences in life.

Choose Your Battles

Sometimes you just have to let things go and accept the rest.  When you’re dealing with moody teenagers, sometimes you just have to let things go.   Try to question whether whatever they’re currently up to which you aren’t thrilled about is really worth the hassle.

If you choose to turn every disagreement into a big confrontation, then you’ll quickly run out of energy.  It’s best to save your battles for the times that it’s really worth it.

Teach Them Communication

Rather than responding to challenges with passive aggressive or controlling behavior, try to communicate with them why you feel the way that you do.  In turn, they’ll learn how to communicate effectively.

Even though they may resist talking things through during the teenage years, they’ll still be given a positive example of how they should effectively communicate their emotions in order to reach a resolution.

Practice Empathy

The most important thing is to have empathy for this time in their lives.  Remember, that you too were a sassy teenager once and thought that you were right and the rest of the world over 25 years old was old and wrong.

Have compassion for their lack of experience and try to be loving.  The more impatient you are with them during this challenging time, the more they’ll start to push you away, and your relationship will suffer as a result.