Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to keep your sanity when you have difficult teenagers....

As you know I have a difficult teen I call drama queen. I guess you can say she's a typical teen of this time, but I don't like it one bit. It's been hard especially since she's my third child and so very different from everyone else. Maybe it is just middle child syndrome and she will be fine when she grows up and we will be best friends. But now, I find her disrespectful, rude, nasty, treats everyone in the house like crap, she does things on purpose just to be annoying and cause trouble. Oh, and the drama has no end, from her hair and clothes, to the boyfriend she wasn't supposed to have, to friend drama. She is overwhelming, loud, and stressful to put it mildly.
I wish I could say I've handled it well, with grace and maturity. Actually the opposite is true. I've let my feelings get hurt, they cloud my judgement, I over react and say things I shouldn't. I'm learning, and each day gets better, and the days I blow it, I forgive myself. This parenting journey is hard!
So, I've done some research, read some articles, tried some things, and when I pause and think instead of react this is what I do........

The first thing is to realize when your child is acting out, calling names being disrespectful is, don't take it personally. I know easier said then done. Take a breath, calmly say it’s not okay to speak to me that way, I don’t like it. Then walk away.

I don't believe in giving your child a second or third chance when he’s nasty or rude to you.

Its our job as a parent to teach our kids how to behave appropriately and to be respectful toward others as they grow up. Respect starts in the home. I often tell her to treat others how she wants to be treated.

Parenting has always been a balance between thinking and feeling, and both are very important. But don't get sucked into your teenagers disrespect, think first, then react.

This is some things to say to your teen before things get totally out of control.....
Is something wrong? Why are you using that tone with me?
How come you get sarcastic every time we talk?
It's your job to make me understand, and sarcasm doesn't help
There is no name calling around this house

I also feel parenting is not a popularity contest. You need to be in control and you need to set some limits. Your child is not your partner or your peer.

When you are setting limits, and dealing with your teen think about what lesson does my child need to learn? What should I teach her here?
The lesson should be related to the kind of person you want your child to grow into.

You also want them to learn how to think for themselves and make good choices. In the end, we want our kids to be independent thinkers who are able to function as healthy adults in society.