It's really hard to feel like an effective parent when you have a child that is at a point where you tell them to do something and their response is flat out defiance. I'm trying to ignore the negative behaviors and have no reactions only logical consequences but damn it's hard.
For a specific example, let's go to this morning. I told my 13 year old that he is grounded today and tomorrow for his disrespect and defiance and he is also not going to the school's dance on Friday if he does not find his missing agenda/planner. His response, “You are not the boss of me” and “I will do what I want” and then he walks out the door to be with his friends. Now granted, he came back in about five minutes later, but still just that fact that he is doing this is getting my blood boiling. So anyway, I'm not going to kill him I am going to remember the following the next time he's pushing my buttons and/or during the next argument.
Tips for Dealing with Your Teen
- Focus on the behavior, not the person.I'm trying to really focus on these negative disrespectful behaviors as things that need to change. My goal is to tie these negative behaviors to logical consequences and stick to them. I also need to try to have something positive to say about him every day, although I'm embarrassed to say, it's been hard.
- Remember what the argument is about....filter out the trivial.I notice that arguments can quickly escalate, especially when people lose their cool. My job is to not lose my own temper and focus at the task at hand. Since a lot of my son's issues involve him not taking time to think about the outcomes of his action, me role modeling calm behavior is that much more important.
- Be prepared for the low blows. Don't allow the words to hurt.Yikes! How many times am I going to hear “You are a horrible mother”, “You need to take a lesson from X's parents on how to be a good mom”, “You never care about anything I want”? Or my favorite one lately is, “You are not my mother. I'm going to call you Jen (my first name)”.
- Good parents aren't born. They are a work in progress.Okay that makes me feel better.