Man. Do you ever have those moments when you wonder if your kid is going to make it to their next birthday?? You know, the whole “Sometimes I fear for my child’s safety. Specifically the one behind me rolling his eyes.”
Teenage defiance is very real. And, maybe it’s selective memory though my mother agrees, it is worse than it’s ever been.
There is an element of entitlement that has these kids thinking they shouldn’t have to follow rules. Or do chores. Or participate in anything that they don’t pick specifically for themselves.
Then you have the age old snotty, rude, snarky mouth and eye rolls that also come with these rough teenage years.
And if you’re a single parent, God blessed, you’re in for quite the ride. But there are things you can do! Some of these you’re going to look at and say “WTF, c? You’re joking, right?”. Nope. Here I am trying to survive teenager #2 (at home) and I can tell you that the opposite of all these things I’m going to tell you does NOT work. When I switched gears, so did the attitudes…at least to a manageable level.
So here goes…
• Keep Calm– I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I think we all struggle with it. They will try to push your buttons. And just constantly push your limits. By incident #3 our instinct is to just snap. But don’t.
• Keep Your Voice Down – Don’t raise your voice, raise your argument. Another element of keeping calm. If anything, remind yourself that they almost instantly tune you out when you yell.
• Shorten the Punishment – I was always good for taking something away for a week. Sometimes more. Resist that urge. It just makes them realize they can live with/without whatever punishment has been doled out. Keep it to 48-72 hours.
• Be Matter-of-Fact – Don’t let ‘em suck you in to a discussion. When they get you talking they can get you frustrated. “You were 2 hours late, you can’t go anywhere for the next 2 days.” Leave it at that.
• Don’t Argue Late or Early – One is never emotionally stable at midnight, or 5am. Let it lie until you’ve slept/had coffee. Approach all conflict when you’re refreshed.
These things have helped me curb some of the teenage BS in my house. I don’t think it will ever go away completely, it wouldn’t be natural. But at least I’m regaining some of my sanity 🙂
I’d love to hear how you handle it! Let us know in the comments.