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Helping a defiant teenager may be one of the hardest things you ever do.
Do these questions resonate with you? Can you relate? Then you probably feel drained, worried and frustrated a good portion of the time.
- Is your teenager verbally - or even physically - abusive?
- Are you worried how much worse your homelife can get - and afraid to learn the answer to that?
- Do you feel completely out of touch with your teenager? Are you certain he or she doesn't hear a word you say?
Please help! How do I raise my teen or pre-teen?
As a parent, do you have more questions than answers?
Back talk, defiance and disrespect do NOT have to be daily visitors in your home. Start by taking control now.
1. Read through the free short report "Raising Teens". Make sure you are covering the fundamentals in parenting your son or daughter.
IMPORTANT: Don't disregard this information if your child is not yet a teen. A huge secret to successful parenting is prevention. By reading this report and using the behavior log (explained in point #2) you'll be getting a jump on handling your growing child's needs today.
Believe me, solving a seven or ten year old's problems is a lot easier than solving a fifteen or seventeen year old's problems.
2. Print out our Behavior Log. Use it to keep track of your child's behavior for a week or two. Then you'll have a better idea of what you're really dealing with.
3. Is the situation with your defiant teenager still more than you know how to handle? Then take a deep breath and another step towards finding the right solution for you and your teen. Head over to Empowering Parents where you will find an enormous amount of articles and discussion written by common sense experts and other parents who have been in the trenches, too. I have found this can really help.
Defiant teenagers and solutions. Are there any? Really?
I'm going to be honest with you. Have a defiant teenager in the house is like living in a minefield. There are no easy answers.
There are, thankfully, some concepts that have proven to work many, many times with families torn apart by a defiant teen. Consider how well your household tackles these ideas.
Stability and the Defiant Teenager
Remember when your child was a toddler and you learned the importance of a bedtime ritual? While having that ritual didn't mean that your child went to bed every night with absolutely no struggle, the consistent routine took the extreme battles out of the equation and gave you a structure to hang your behavior expectations on so that your growing toddler understood what was expected of her day in and day out.
Your teen, defiant or not, desperately needs this kind of stability, too. But the stakes are higher and the routine is tricker at this stage of the parenting game.
Obviously, if your teen is in the full blows of out of control defiance, you can expect little to no cooperation on his part if you decide to put some stability back into his life.
That's okay. Do it anyway.
Make sure that a significant chunk of the "stability" you add to your family life is fun, inclusive and heavily family oriented. For example, institute a family night. Invite your teenager - every week - whether she comes or not. Invite her to bring a friend, as well. Talk about how much fun you have at these family nights in front of your teen. Leave notes to your other children or adults about the wonderful family nights where your teen will find them.
Of course, it goes without saying, that you need to be having a great time on family night to pull this off.
Now, one of two things is probably going to happen in this scenario and they are both good.
1. Your defiant teen will eventually come to family night simply out of curiousity. If that happens, make him feel warm and welcome.
2. Your defiant teenager does not come to any family nights, no matter how enticing you make it. That's frustrating, I know. But you will have planted positive seeds in your teen's troubled heart. And, just as importantly, you will improve your family life for yourself and all other family members. Your stress level just might unwind a bit and you might find yourself looking forward to family nights.
That is a very, very good thing.
(Defiant teenagers are tough to live with! If you find that the stress of living with a defiant teenager is taking it's toll on the stability your marriage, you're not alone. This is a common side effect of defiant behavior. Take a look at this article that may give you some new ways of approaching this vital issue. The Ripple Effect of Defiant Behavior: When Parents Pay the Price
Defiant Teenagers and Volume Control
In many families with a defiant teenager, the general volume level of the household is over the top. And it's easy to see why.
Frequent arguments, slamming doors and shouting do not lend themselves to a peaceful environment.
Well, I've got a little secret for you.
Your angry teen is not going to be the one to turn down the volume. She simply doesn't know how and she is waiting for you to do something.
This information may surprise you. Remember, what your teen says and what she thinks and feels are two entirely different things. Never, ever forget that simple fact.
This at its most basic level is a matter of respect.
Now, you cannot force your frustrated teenager to respect you. You cannot make her talk nice to you. But you can enforce the peaceful rules of your home. How to stop back talking may be a big part of this process.
Courteous speech, being kind to others, not stealing; these are not unreasonable demands, these are characteristics common to decent human beings.
Look at it this way. I'll bet that your teen doesn't like it at all when HER friends yell at her, storm out on her or take her stuff. She knows these types of behaviors are wrong. But she's angry and doesn't know how to fix it.
So even though he will (temporarily) yell a little louder when you attempt to bring down the volume in your home, make it a firm priority. And do make it clear to your defiant teenager that you would like very much to listen to him. Often and deeply. He won't believe you at first, but that at least gives him a way to address you that doesn't include yelling. Eventually, if you're extremely patient and mean what you say, he may take you up on the invitation to be listened to.
Because he needs that desperately and I'll bet his friends only listen for so long. Because they long to be listened to, also.
If you want to know what parenting program I can recommend that helps parents with struggling kids, that would be The Total Transformation program, hands down. Part of why this program works is because it supports parents extremely well.
More parenting articles for you.
Defiant Behavior in Children
The Ripple Effect of Defiant Behavior: When Parents Pay the Price
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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