Do you have a teenager who is disrupting your entire family? Has your teenager's behavior escalated from slightly difficult to all-out rebellion? The teenage years can be difficult for every child. Teenagers test their limits, try to assert their own independence, and have to manage volatile emotions. While it's understandable that a teenager may be going through a difficult period, it's also important that you help your child make the best decisions possible. Without proper guidance, a teenager could easily make choices that haunt him or her for years or decades to come. Here are three effective ways to help your child and to regain control of your household:
Reassert your authority. If your child consistently disobeys your rules, it's likely because they feel like they control the household, not you. Although it might be difficult, you may need to reestablish rules and consequences for certain behavior. Think about consequences that matter to your teenager, such as taking away the car or withholding allowance.
Also, it's important that as you assert your authority, you pick your battles wisely. You will never be able to control every aspect of your child's life, and you probably shouldn't attempt to. Decide what's important to you and what isn't. You may decide that your child's school attire isn't as big of a deal as the child missing curfew on the weekends. Set clear rules on important matters and then establish consequences for breaking those rules.
Visit family counseling. If your child's behavior and outbursts are so volatile that you can't reasonably have a conversation with them, there may be other issues going on. Teenagers are often reluctant to share these issues with parents, so it may be wise to meet with a counselor, both as a family and as individuals. The teenager could be experimenting with drugs or sex or could have suffered some kind of trauma that you aren't aware of. A counselor can uncover these issues and start the healing process.
Look at longer-term, out-of-home options. Teenagers are easily influenced by their friends and their environment. Sometimes, the best way to change a teen's behavior is to simply get him or her in a new environment. You may want to send them to a therapeutic camp over summer break. A missionary trip with your church may open their eyes to different perspectives. Even an extended family vacation could help them get away from friends and bond with their family. If the issue is severe, you may even consider sending them to a boarding school for more corrective therapy.
Talk to a family counselor (such as one from Giblin Consulting) for more information on how you can help your teen. They can provide numerous options and help guide you down the right path.Share