Coping with the trials of teen rebellion is challenging, however, if handled with care, the art of nurturing emotional stability, honesty and responsibility is not lost on troubled teens.
Accept what you don’t understand:
When a teenager is distraught, the crisis may be mystifying to adults, because it seems illogical. However, rushing to explain away emotional distress can backfire, because it sends the message; “Your feelings are wrong”. A hasty attempt to fix the problem with adult logic can trigger feelings of frustration and isolation due to a perceived inability to connect with you.
When emotions run high, a quick fix won’t do. Sometimes, the initial grief must run its course, before words of wisdom can be processed.
Simply listening and offering loving support with few words, suggests that you are siding with your teen. Feeling understood and accepted lays the groundwork for healing, and helps teens become more receptive to advice.
Make honesty a family policy:
The problem of teenage lying has been famously, sarcastically, and some say aptly put by television’s Judge Judy, who is known to famously quip; “Do you know how I can tell when a teenager is lying? Their lips are moving!”
Judge Judy’s sentiments, although a bit tongue-in-cheek may not be too far off of the mark. From time to time, most teenagers will likely lie to their parents, and when lying becomes a habit, it can be hard to break.
To stress the importance of maintaining integrity and honor by being honest, parents must keep themselves in check in order to set a good example. When your kids bear witness to you fibbing to others, or worse, catch you being dishonest with them, the results can be damaging, or even disastrous.
Two rules for rules:
– Pick your battles – Too many rules can be overwhelming, and cause anxiety, pressure, and worst of all, feelings of failure and defeat. When teens believe they can’t measure up, they may give up on “being good”, and rebel.- Stick to your guns – As tempting as it may be, breaking your own rules is not ok. In order to teach responsibility by setting an example, you must bite the bullet, stick to your guns, and respect the rules.
Teen rebellion is a maddening, yet useful speed bump on the road to adulthood, forcing parents and kids to slow down, take stock, and reconnect.