Dealing With Our Hormonal Teenagers
I stood there mouth opened, stunned.
"How could he have said those horrible words to me?" I said to myself.
He and I have been at odds with each other for a few days ever since I decided to restrict his internet access during the week as an attempt to make him pay attention to “other things” besides playing video games online.
I thought about what he said and for a moment had an urge to respond tac-for-tac to what he said. Then, I decided to change strategy. Instead of fighting fire with fire, I would instead fight fire with love. I responded:
“What you said to me hurt, but I love you anyway and I will always love you.”
At this moment, he suddenly paused and it is as if his body language changed. He apparently did not expect my response, soft as it was. Then, I added:
“Do the things you got to do in your room and around the house then you will have your full internet access back.”
He sat there silent so I decided to leave the room and let him digest our conversation.
Surprisingly enough, the following days, his whole attitude changed and it became evident that my loving approach in a moment of tense confrontation ruled the day.
The moral of the story?
This strategy will not always work in similar situations but when dealing with teenagers, it is important to stick to some basic rules:
- show them you are on their side and always will be
- be consistent with the punishment or restriction
- always stay in the border of decency when it comes to words you use
- understand they are going through phases of hormonal development and that the bad behavior will not last for too long
Interested in books about parenting teens? Here are some suggestions:
- Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens
- Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind
- Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Your Teen and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting
Photo credit: vanessa_hutd
Daniel Desmornes lives in Coral Springs, Florida and is a divorced father of a 16 year old teenager.