We know, as parents, that the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. This starts when they are young and continues throughout their childhood and well into adolescence. Puberty does a number on any child, and at times it may seem that your teenager is going through a self-loathing stage.
Think back to when you were a teenager and I’m sure you’ll remember going through the same thing.
It’s now, more than ever, that our teenagers need us to be their biggest fan. Or, at the very least, their second biggest fan (after themselves, of course). When you take in all of the peer pressure and what they see on social media and in celebrities; it’s no wonder that our relationships with our teenagers have become a battleground.
It’s time, mom and dad, to take transform your relationship with your teenager.
How to stop fighting with your teenager
For teens with high functioning autism, or with ADHD, they are often saddled with the additional psychology of shame. The inner-voice for these teens can be particularly harsh and when you add that in with the added challenges of school? Your teenager is facing a powerful one-two punch.
Sometimes, as we are in the midst of discipline, it can be difficult for us as parents to remember all of the challenges that our teenagers are facing. Now, more than ever, we need to parent and discipline with encouragement and positivity. Yes, I realize that this may seem hard to remember- especially in the heat of the moment. But, there is a delicate balance here that needs to be observed.
So how do we do this? How do we, as parents, reinforce the rules and the consequences while still maintaining positive discipline?
It all starts with us.
How to Transform Your Relationship with Your Teenager
The first thing that we need to remember, is to have self-control. If we lose our temper, we’re likely to trigger out teenager’s temper as well. Yes, your teenager should have some degree of independence right now, but yelling isn’t going to get your point across any easier.
The next thing to remember is to parent with compassion and understanding. You were a teenager too once and if we think about it? We probably had plenty of power struggles with our parents. Your teenager is capable of doing things- you know this. Remind them of this but in a gentle and loving way instead of a negative way.
Yes, you are the parent and yes, your teenager is your child- but you should also be at the point where they are able to contribute to the conversation. I’m not suggesting that you completely give to their demands, rather find ways that you can work on rules together. The more that your teenager is involved in this, the more responsibility that you are giving to them.
This sense of responsibility really goes a long way. And, you’re also acknowledging to your teenager that you value their input and opinion.
Just as you have been in the past? Consistency is also key.
Now, you may think that this next part is a little silly, but find ways to reward your teenager’s behavior. If they are still motivated with gold stars? Use it! I’ll admit, I like stickers and reward charts just as much as any child.
Try to counteract the negative with the positive. For example, for every negative about a situation? Look for three positive things. When you continuously focus on the negatives, your teenager is going to follow in your footsteps.
By transforming your approach to situations, you are encouraging your teenager to do the same.