Thursday 5 May 2016

One tip for dealing with teenagers

It's no secret that we have moments of struggling with Douglas' behaviour. From throwing chairs to smashing holes in walls and purposely scaring Sophie, he is, at times, unpleasant to be around. And it's been difficult for both Steve and I, because these behaviours aren't things that we grew up with, or that were tolerated from us as teenagers, so we only know one way to respond.

By yelling back.

But as has been shown time and again in our house, that doesn't work.

About six months ago, as he started on another rampage (which usually coincides with being asked to complete evening or weekend chores), I decided to head outside with Sophie. It was for no reason other than Steve was almost due home, it was hot inside, and I wanted to see how cool it was. Natalie and Riley ended up joining us, and we looked at some stars while we were there.

We came inside ten minutes later, and Douglas had calmed down, completed his jobs, and no one was suffering from high blood pressure. Walking away had worked!

These days, it isn't always as easy to walk away (cooler nights, other kids, etc), so we've expanded our arsenal to include not speaking to Douglas, no matter what he throws at us. This isn't always easy, as he throws some pretty nasty words at Steve, but it's a learning curve for all of us.

And we constantly remind ourselves that underneath all the shittyness, he really is a good kid.

Tomorrow's prompt 5 on Friday - places on your bucket list to visit Would you visit other countries, or explore more of your own backyard?

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  1. Teenagers can be hard...glad you've come up with a strategy that works for your family xx

  2. I think it is so hard being a parent to a teenager. You seem to have found the right way of responding. It was lovely to read that you know he is a good kid, so important to remember that : love the kid/hate the behaviour. Wishing you good luck and fortitude!

  3. This is a pretty good tip for any age. In one of my parenting groups it's called "dropping the rope". Basically not being part of a tug of war with your child.

    Glad you found something that is working for you!

  4. I agree Cate. Yelling is the worst thing we can do because it tells them that this is worth fighting about and then they will battle until they prove us wrong. I like how Francine calls it "dropping the rope". That's a great line! I think it's also important to choose what battles are worth fighting about and then enter them to win. As the parent of an 18 year old, let me tell life does get better!

  5. Are you seeking help for his outbursts at all? That really doesn't sound like normal teenage behaviour and I wonder if there is probably more to it.

  6. Teenagers can be hard, for sure, and it sounds like your son is struggling a bit. Feel free to ignore me, but I wonder if he reads your blog? He might feel a bit upset seeing his name and pic and reports of things that happen at home. Teens are, in my experience (we have 2) very private at times.


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