Tag Archive | rebellious teens

Rebellious Teens: Tips to Avoid Fighting with Your Teen

TeenangerWhen you’re raising a teenager, your house can feel like a war-zone that’s scattered with potential land mines masquerading as casual questions. Every interaction can feel like it has the potential to blow up in your respective faces, leaving parents wondering what the safest course of action is in terms of avoiding an argument.

During the tumultuous teenage years, these are 10 of the most reliable ways to avoid fighting with your child.

  1. Establish Rational Boundaries – During adolescence, your teen is revisiting the same mindset of early toddlerhood that leaves her looking for ways to test boundaries as a means of asserting her independence from you. Making sure that she knows some boundaries cannot be challenged lays a foundation for calm, rational interaction. Just be sure before you make those rules that you understand your teen’s need for a reasonable amount of independence, and avoid overly harsh authoritarian rules that leave no room for such expression.
  2. Shift Your Perspective – As an adult parent of a teenager, it can be difficult to remember your own battles during the tender years leading up to adulthood. Before flying off of the proverbial handle, try to remember how you felt as a teen, so that you can see things from your own teenager’s perspective.
  3. Refuse to Escalate the Situation – When you’re standing face to face with a raging, screaming teen that pays no heed to the feelings of anyone around her as she expresses her frustration, it’s easy to fall into the trap of shouting right back at her. By maintaining your composure and refusing to let the situation escalate into a full-on altercation, you’re effectively maintaining control of the confrontation without adding fuel to the fire.
  4. Practice Good Listening Skills – Sometimes a teen feels as if he’s not being truly heard and in response will lash out with anger, when all he really wants is to know that his viewpoints and opinions are being listened to. Taking the time to ask your child how he feels and actually listening to the answer he gives can diffuse many arguments before they start.
  5. Create a “No Judgment” Zone for Tricky Discussions – Teenagers face a variety of difficult choices and situations, and those who feel as if they have nowhere to turn for advice due to a fear of parental judgment or punishment can internalize that stress, leading to nasty arguments borne of frustration. Making sure that your child knows she can safely approach you with difficult questions can eliminate that frustration, making for a more peaceful environment within your home.
  6. Know When to Compromise – As a parent, it’s often difficult to admit when you’re being unreasonable and concede an argument, or at least to make compromises when you’ve reached an impasse. Mastering the art of a sane compromise with your teen, however, is the key to keeping a tense discussion from escalating.
  7. Understand When to Walk Away – When you can’t hold on to your temper, it’s okay to walk away. If you ascribe to a philosophy of walking away to let your temper cool, though, it’s essential that you afford your teenager the same respect. Resist the temptation to follow her in order to continue a diatribe; it’ll only lead to an even nastier confrontation.
  8. Actively Avoid Triggers – There are some subjects that bring out a passionate reaction in everyone, and those triggers differ from one person to the next. Your teenager is no different, and you know the things that will upset her before you discuss them. Avoid the subjects you know will upset your child, especially if there’s no real reason for discussing them.
  9. Refuse to Reward the Silent Treatment – The silent treatment is infuriating for anyone, but it’s important that you not reward that behavior from your teen. Attempting to draw him out with false cheerfulness or prodding him to talk will only blow up in your face, so let him stew without interference for a while.
  10. Avoid Drawing Comparisons – Telling your teenager that you never acted the way he does, or illustrating just how much more tolerant of a parent you are because you don’t punish him the way you would have been punished for behaving in such a manner serves absolutely no productive purpose. Remember that your teen is trying to establish himself as a separate entity from you; drawing comparisons, even when you’re just looking for common ground, can ultimately be counterproductive. 

Making a concerted effort to foster an open, honest relationship with your teen can make it easier to avoid the worst arguments, but the occasional disagreement is pretty much par for the course. Rather than dwelling on an argument after it happens, try to think about how you could have handled it differently so that you can apply that knowledge the next time negotiations become tense.

Source:  Babysitting.net

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RESPECT: Is this a word Teen’s Are Not Familiar with Today?

TeenRespectA word that needs to come back into this generation of teenagers.

As a child approaches adolescence, the natural exploration of boundaries and the need to assert his own independence often leaves his parents feeling as if all respect between them has dissipated. Arguing, defiance and even foul language are normal, though admittedly incredibly frustrating, aspects of parenting a teenager.

While regaining a teen’s respect may seem like an impossible proposition, there are ways that you can restore some semblance of balance and civility to your relationship as he gets older. While patience and a refusal to reward bad behavior are the keys to maintaining a measure of order in your home as the parent of teenagers, there are some methods that can supplement your efforts along the way.

Show Respect
In order to maintain your teenager’s respect, you’ll need to make sure that you show the same measure of respect in return. If you resort to shouting, threats and anger to get your point across, your teen isn’t likely to have much respect for your pleas for civility. Demanding that your adolescent child blindly follows your directions and falls in line with your rules while refusing to show any sort of respect for their own valid feelings and needs is far more likely to backfire than to inspire
rank-and-file obedience.

Set Reasonable Boundaries
Just as younger children need to know what the boundaries of acceptable behavior are in order to stay within them, so will your teen. The difference between them is that your teenager will need a bit of independence to make his own choices. Allowing him a reasonable amount of space to explore the world as he matures will allow your teen to make mistakes that will serve as learning experiences, and not feel as if he’s being stifled by the demands of adults that he views as out of touch with the world. While you certainly don’t want to encourage dangerous experimentation or condone bad decisions that will affect the rest of his life, it is wise to give him ample space to make a few minor mistakes he can learn from.
Maintain an Open Line of Communication
When a teen feels as if you’re completely out of touch and aren’t willing to listen to him, he’s not likely to approach you with his concerns or seek advice from you about difficult situations he faces. Making sure that you establish and maintain an open line of judgment-free communication reinforces the idea that he can still come to you when he’s in trouble, and that you will respect his growing maturity. In return, your teen is more likely to extend the same respect to you.

Try Not to Feel Hurt or Rejected
It’s normal to feel as if you’re being rejected by your teenager when he seems to constantly choose his friends and peers over you, but it’s important to remember that it’s a natural part of growing up. Feeling that pain is understandable and acceptable, but it’s not a good idea to act on your hurt feelings by lashing out or establishing excessively restrictive rules that force him to spend his free time with you. Forced time is not quality time, and will almost certainly end in a showdown.

Realize That “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” is Counter-Productive
The desire to ensure that your child doesn’t make the same mistakes you have or exhibit the same problem personality traits can create an environment in which you expect your child to follow your instructions while you openly flout them. The “do as I say, not as I do” approach isn’t effective when children are young, but it can truly come back to haunt you when a teenager accuses you of hypocrisy and unfairness. Try to model the behavior you want your teen to exhibit to the best of your abilities to avoid these altercations and encourage him to respect you.

Give Them Responsibilities
Kids who have no responsibilities and a sense of entitlement that leads them to feel as if the world owes them everything have no respect for anyone or anything. Making sure that your children have some responsibilities, both financial and in the way of chores or daily tasks, may not seem like a recipe for respect on the surface, however the qualities that having some responsibility instills naturally extend themselves to having a bit more respect than their overindulged peers.

Recognize the Things They Do
While you’re delegating responsibility and setting reasonable boundaries, make sure that you take the time to acknowledge and openly appreciate the things that your teenager does. Feeling as if his efforts to abide by the rules and contribute to the household are completely unnoticed or unappreciated doesn’t inspire your teen to keep meeting expectations that he knows you won’t acknowledge anyway. Take a moment to thank your teen for helping out or behaving well, and let him know that the freedom he is afforded is directly tied to the fact that his good behavior at home indicates to you that he can be trusted.

Source: Aupair Jobs

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Entitlement Issues and Teens Today: 10 Reasons Teens NEED to Say THANK YOU

Entitlement issues is a common trend in today’s society with teens.

Respect was always a priority in generations prior.  Most children called their elders Mr. and Mrs., we rarely heard them called by their first name.

Showing respect and gratitude.  Our children need to learn this from their home first and bring it into their future lives.

Two simple words is a place to start.

Saying thank you is second nature to most people and we tend to take this simple expression of gratitude for granted. However, because it’s so common, a thank you left unsaid becomes a glaring omission. Parents who don’t teach their children to say thank you are doing a great disservice to their children. People think kids who don’t say thanks are just plain rude.

Here are 10 common reasons you should teach your kids to say thank you.

  1. Manners – First of all, it’s just good manners to say thank you. Kids need to learn socially acceptable behavior early and have it reinforced throughout their childhood. Thank you should be two of the first words a child learns to say, after please of course.
  2. Respect – Saying thank you shows respect, especially to adults. Parents should teach their children that not showing gratitude is disrespectful and frowned upon by others.
  3. Show gratitude – Of course, a simple thanks shows gratitude and lets the giver know the gift is appreciated. Even the smallest gesture should be acknowledged when it’s given freely.
  4. Polite – Kids should learn how to be polite to others and saying thank you is part of that process. First you say please, then thank you, follow up with a your welcome and repeat often.
  5. Appreciated – People really appreciate it when kids say thank you and they notice when it’s omitted. When children are unable to express their appreciation for a gift in person, they should be encouraged to send thank you notes.
  6. Etiquette – Saying thank you is just part of proper etiquette that all parents should teach their children. They need to know what’s expected of them to get along in polite society and improper etiquette won’t get them very far.
  7. Good example – Kids who can give an unprompted thank you when it’s required are a good example to their peers and siblings. Politeness is contagious and should be generously shared as often as possible.
  8. Reflects well – When people observe children saying a polite thank you, it reflects well on their parents. On the other hand, when that simple gesture is omitted, it really reflects poorly. Most adults will wonder who’s raising this rude child.
  9. Shows maturity – Polite children appear much more mature than their rude peers and their more likely to gain respect from adults. Kids should be encouraged to say thank you by letting them know it’s the grown up thing to do.
  10. Good habits – Saying please and thank you are just good habits for kids to get into and it should become second nature to them. Repeated often enough, eventually they won’t need to be reminded.
When teaching your children to say please and thank you, be sure to lead by example. Kids learn best by imitation, so make a point of saying thank you to them as well. Since the words thank you can be difficult for toddlers who are just learning to talk, learning it in sign language first can be easier for them.

It may become tedious to continually remind kids to say thank you, but eventually it will become second nature to them and they won’t need to be reminded. Giving your children a strong foundation in good manners will serve them well throughout their lives.

Source: eNannySource.com

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Benefits of a Stubborn Child

OMG, my child is driving me nuts!

He won’t listen!

She is so rebellious!

Parents of a stubborn child can find it exasperating. They will obstinately refuse to do what they’re told and defy discipline with a steely determination. What most people fail to see is how stubbornness can be a positive attribute. There are many ways headstrong children can have an advantage over the more docile counterparts.

Here are 8 reasons being stubborn can be good for a kid.

  1. Perseverance – A stubborn child is going to be much better at accomplishing difficult tasks because they have perseverance. If at first they don’t succeed they will keep trying until they get the results they desire. From learning to tie their shoes to figuring out a complicated math problem, these kids will doggedly keep trying until they get it done. This is a great advantage over other children who tend to give up easily.
  2. Can’t be bullied – Childhood bullies have gotten to be a big problem, so stubbornness can give a kid the toughness they need to stand up for themselves. No playground bully is going to push them around. The defiance they show to their parents easily translates to other situations, so the local bully doesn’t stand a chance.
  3. Mental fortitude – This toughness will also help kids to develop the strong mental fortitude they need as they grow from childhood to adults. Mental toughness will help them to succeed in many aspects of their lives and make it easier for them to cope with stress or traumatic events. The demands of college, the military or a prestigious career are more easily met by the people who used to be stubborn kids.
  4. Schoolwork – Children who give up easily are going to have a harder time learning difficult problems in their schoolwork than those who are more resolute. Whether this results in getting better grades depends on each child’s mental capabilities, but stubbornness can be an advantage to even learning disabled children. Teachers and parents should encourage stubborn kids to channel their determination into their homework.
  5. Employment – Once kids get old enough to get a job, the stubborn ones will be more likely to find employment and keep it. It takes strong perseverance to find work in a bad economy, especially for teens. If their determination pays off, their employers will be pleased if they apply their stubbornness to their work ethic. Stubborn kids can be good workers.
  6. Sports – Another way a headstrong kid can excel is in sports. What they may lack in physical ability can be made up for with sheer determination. Stubborn kids are very competitive and will not give up until they make the team or are the best in their field. They can channel their obstinacy into succeeding at whatever sport they choose.
  7. Successful career – That successful doctor, lawyer or actor you admire probably used to be a stubborn child. The bullheaded kids are much better equipped to succeed at whatever careers they choose. Their ability to persevere will vault them to the top of the corporate ladder.
  8. Survival – Another reason being stubborn can be good for a kid is pure survival. Whether it’s illness, injury or a natural disaster, those who aren’t willing to give up will overcome any obstacle to survive. Stubbornness is a key element in personal survival.

So the next time you encounter your child’s stubborn streak, turn the negatives into a positive. Parents would be wise to recognize the potential of their bullheaded kids and help them to use their stubbornness to their advantage. By channeling that willful determination, these children are much more likely to succeed in life. In this dog eat dog world, survival of the fittest reigns supreme. The stubborn kids are better equipped to deal with whatever comes their way.

Source:  Find a Babysitter

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Sue Scheff: Empower Yourself as a Parent

Parent Empowerment!
By Sue Scheff

Are you at your wit’s end? Completely frustrated and stressed out over your child’s behavior? Are you questioning where the child you raised with values went? It is time to empower yourself with information that can help you take control again.

So many parents are desperate to find resolution and peace with their out of control teen. They feel helpless, hopeless, scared, exhausted, and bewildered where this behavior came from.

Many teens are suffering with low self esteem, depression and other negative feelings that are making the act out in defiant ways. It is important to try to resolve these feelings before they escalate to worse behavior, including substance abuse and addiction, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders, self injury, gang involvement, etc.

These teens are usually very intelligent and capable of getting Honor Roll grades, however are not working up to their potential and lack the motivation to succeed and do well. This can stem from peer pressure combined with the teen’s feelings of low self worth. It is one of the most common trends today – highly intelligent teens making bad choices. Are you telling yourself; “This is not my child,” yet soon realize that it is and you must take control of an obvious out of control situation.

As a parent that has experienced and survived a troubled teen – I am introducing “Parent Empowerment” to help you take control of your family again. My goal is that you will learn from my mistakes and gain from my knowledge.

Do you think you are alone? I can assure you, that there are many parents that are in your same situation – and feeling the same frustrations.

Let’s look at things we have tried – and I am confident many of you will see the familiarity with these consequences:

Remove privileges or place restrictions on cell phones, televisions, computers, going out on weekends, friends, phone time at home, etc. In today’s society, although these should be privileges, most are considered normal necessities of a teen’s life. This can be related to entitlement issues. Click Here http://www.helpyourteens.com/entitlement_issues.html Many instances even if you have removed the privileges, the child knows he/she will eventually get them back, and find other means to communicate with their teen world.

Change schools – How many times have we believed if we change the school the problems will go away? Maybe in some cases, however these issues will follow your child into the next school environment. The problems may be masked in the beginning, but in most cases, the trouble will soon arise again. Changing schools, although may temporarily resolve some problems; it is rarely the answer when teens are emotionally struggling.

Have your child go live with a relative out of state? Wow, this is very common, but the other similarity is that in many situations it is a short term resolution before the family is calling and saying they can’t do it any longer – you need to find another alternative for the teen. This can be traumatic and stressful for both families involved and cause friction that could result in more negative feelings.

How many families have actually moved? Believe or not, parents have looked for job transfers or other avenues to try to remove their teen from the environment they are currently in. So many of us believe it is the friends, which it could be, however as parents we need to also take accountability – this is not saying we are to blame, but we need to understand that our children are usually not the “angels” we believe they are. Sure they are athletic, played varsity sports (football, track, golf, swim team, dance etc.), musically gifted, or other special talents as well as were in all advanced placement classes – but reality is, if you are reading this, this has changed.

Seeking a therapist will help. Yes in some cases it will. And of course, we should all try this avenue first. Unfortunately more times than not, the teens are already a master manipulator and can breeze through these sessions convincing the therapist the parents are the problem. I know many of you have probably already experienced this. The other concern with therapy is that in many situations the one hour once or twice a week can barely scratch the surface of what a family with a troubled teen may require.

Was your child arrested? If your child has committed a crime, chances are they will be arrested. If your child has become belligerent in the home and you fear for your safety or the safety of your family, again chances are they will be arrested. In some cases with first time offenders the charges could be dropped. However if this becoming a chronic problem, you seriously should consider outside help. When a teen is arrested and placed in a juvenile detention center, even for one night, they are exposed to a different element that could either scare him/her or harden them. Teens can learn bad habits in these centers, or potentially worse, make friends with teens that have far worse problems than yours.

Scared Straight Programs or Boot Camps – Are they effective? Many parents will seek a local weekend Scared Straight Program or Boot Camp. In some cases, it may have a positive effect on your teen – a wake up call so to speak; however in other cases it may worsen your problem. Depending on your child and the problems you are dealing with or how long they have been going on, may help you to determine if these types of programs would be beneficial or detrimental to them. Some teens will leave a Boot Camp or weekend Scared Straight program with more anger and resentment than when they entered it. The resentment is usually directed at the person that placed them there – not at the program. This can open doors to more destructive behavior. Personally, I am not in favor of Boot Camps or Scared Straight Weekend programs. A visit to a jail with a police officer, giving the teen the awareness of what could happen to them, may be a better way to help the teen to understand consequences of the current behavior.

These above efforts are avenues parents could try before considering any type of boarding school program. I believe exhausting all your local resources should be the first path. Making a decision to place a child outside of the home is a major decision and one that is not to be taken lightly. It is important you educate yourself – empower yourself with information to help you make the best decision for your child. Here is a list of questions to ask schools and programs in order to determine if they are a fit for your teen.

Click here: http://www.helpyourteens.com/questions_to_ask_schools.html
Helpful Hints: http://www.helpyourteens.com/helpful_hints.html when searching for schools and programs.

An educated parent is an empowered parent. Parent Empowerment! Take control of your family life again. Don’t be a parent in denial – take control and become empowered! I believe giving your child a second chance to have a successful life is our responsibility as a concerned parent.

Sue Scheff – A Parent’s True Story, published by the people that brought you Chicken Soup for the Soul brings you “Wit’s End!”

Help for Parents of Out-of-control Teens
Resources to help families in this critical time

(SOUTH FLORIDA)—In 2000, a teenager at a residential treatment center was locked-up in an isolation box for 17 hours with no windows, heat or air conditioning because she had tried to help a girl who was having a seizure. Later, that same teenager got food poisoning and was rushed to the ER (unbeknownst to her mother) because sewage had contaminated the food she was eating and sunk into the carpet of the living areas.

These are just some of the experiences that Sue Scheff’s daughter, Ashlyn, experienced while enrolled in a residential treatment program, supposed to be helping her cope with emotional and behavioral problems while building up her self-esteem. Furious about how Ashlyn had been treated, Scheff posted her experiences online about the program and was promptly sued for libel. Scheff won by a long shot.

Now parents can read Scheff’s story and learn from her mistakes in Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your OUT-OF-CONTROL TEEN (HCI Books, July 2008). The book is the result of her years of effort to educate parents and provide them with the proper resources to care for their own difficult teen.

“I was desperate to find good help for my daughter, but this program ended up making things worse,” says Scheff. “My book provides positive, prescriptive help for families who want to put their children on the road to a safe, healthy adulthood. It is imperative parents do their homework and Wit’s End can offer a convenient outline to get them started.”

Parents doing their homework becomes even more important in light of a 2007 study released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office which uncovered thousands of allegations of abuse, some of which involved death, at residential treatment programs across the country and in American-owned and American-operated facilities abroad between the years 1990 and 2007.

For parents who need one-on-one guidance, Scheff founded Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.), an advocacy group that not only researches residential treatment centers and other teen help programs around the world, but helps educate parents to choose which facilities are best suited to match their child’s needs.

Sue Scheff is a parent advocate and the founder of Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. She has been featured in numerous publications and broadcasts, including: 20/20, The Rachel Ray Show, ABC News, CBC News: Sunday Morning, CNN Headline News, Fox News, BBC Talk Radio, National Public Radio and The New York Times.

For more information, please visit http://www.suescheff.com/ or http://www.helpyourteens.com/