At what age do kids stop being so sweet? Most parents completely understand that children are growing to become responsible adults, but they don’t understand how they become rebellious teens.
Kids today seem very entitled, meaning; you owe them because you gave them life. Before you lose your sanity, it is important to understand the messaging behind the rebellion.
Teens are Not Monsters, They’re Developing Adults
Remember that you’re only the best parent when your teen gets what they want, or they become parents someday. The in-between those periods is what you are going to need to understand to help you map out some behavioral techniques to get your authority back. Early adolescents mean that mom and dad aren’t always right. In fact, they really don’t know what they’re talking about.
Your teen realizes that walking in the street without looking both ways doesn’t mean they will get hit by a car. What it does mean is that mom and dad doesn’t always give the right answers. They test their moral compasses and decide to take a different route to differentiate their newly acquired norms. They have new standards that doesn’t comply with family traditions. Their thinking is no longer black and white but abstract. You find yourself giving more explanations rather than the “I Told You So” response. The most detailed explanation is never good enough.
Your teen begins to learn how to assert their independence from your authority and rules and gain their own voice about their personal interests. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t do their chores; you should be grateful they made their bed. You are beating your mind into overdrive, trying to figure out what they want. The truth is, you’ll lose your mind trying to figure out what they don’t have the answers to.
Why do Teens Rebel?
Teen rebellion is normal and happens in most households. It is a natural part of their growth. They are preparing to be on their own where your rules do not govern their actions. When we look at lifespan and development, we find that teen rebellion is a natural process of becoming an adult. You just need to find a way that helps you feel confident you’re making the right decision as a parent and not overload yourself in the guilt of making a parenting mistake.
Tips to Help you Parent a Rebellious Teen
1. Don’t stress out. Adolescence is a time of separation from parental norms and the development of self-identity, resulting in strained relationships and autonomous decision making that goes against most values and family beliefs. Essentially, your child is trying to come into their own.
2. Establish boundaries that allow them to feel empowered to make choices while clearly understanding the consequences.
3. Never relinquish your authority as a parent and stay consistent with your rules and structure for your home.
4. Offer times to have family meetings where ideas can be expressed nonjudgmentally.
5. Provide daily check-ins where you spend at least 3-5 minutes checking in with them about their day.
6. Get help from a therapist when you are losing control of your child’s respect for your rules, and their choices are resulting in negative consequences.
7. Make sure punishments fit the behavior and try not to over punish where it no longer has an effect on your child.
8. If you have a spouse, make sure the both of you are on the same page. A house divided cannot stand.
9. Address the behavior without bashing your child. You want to continue to build their self-esteem and self-worth and not give them a reason to consider you as the enemy.
Remember, you are NOT ALONE! You are fully capable of raising a difficult child. You just need to remind yourself that you are in this for a short period of time to help them master the process of growing up in a loving, safe, and nonjudgmental environment.