Admit It! Your Kids Can Wrap You Around Their Little Finger, Can't They?
Posted on 17th March 2019 at 18:50
Let's face it. A teenagers job is to keep pushing the boundaries to find out what they can get away with, isn't it?
Teenagers! They know how to push your buttons, right?
At this age they are developing both physically and emotionally. Finding their own character, path in life and taking the leap from childhood into adulthood in just a few short years. They have also had time over their childhood to figure out what you find acceptable, your expectations and your weaknesses in their eyes. They will have formulated their idea of what love is through how you show them love, and will be figuring out if they want a life similar to yours or the complete opposite!
As parents, you also hugely dislike being judged too, don't you? So if your child is angry, has behavioural issues, shy, depressed, has anxiety issues or has any kind of social difficulty, you're constantly feeling guilty because you wonder if there is something else you could have done when they were younger. It can be an emotional rollercoaster yourself can't it?
With my teenage clients, I often ask how many times they have to shout/play up/repeat/demand what they want before their parent gives in and lets them do what they want. One 11 year old knew that her mum would give in to her demands once she screamed about it up to 8 times! The response was so consistent she knew to get what she wanted!
You must be wondering by now if there is a way to unwrap them from your finger and become as determined as they are without the anger attached, yes?
Many arguments with teenagers happen like this:
Can I have X? (replace X with a multitude of wants)
But I want a X!
No, because of Y (whatever reason you think)
It's not fair I want X now!
You're not having it now!
Because I said so!
Well that's not fair at all!
All hell breaks loose the shouting has alerted the neighbours a war is about to occur and to save face what do you do? You say ok but XYZ and both of you are are left exhausted.
They know they have got you as you have been consistent with the amounts of times they have pushed you before you have given in.
The first thing you need to practice as a parent is agreeing with them!
Seriously have you lost your mind? No!
I know this sounds like a cuckoo concept but when you say yes and then give your reason it softens the blow.
"Can I have a cookie?"
"Yes, once we've had dinner AND if you help me cook dinner there may be other snacks you can have while we prepare together."
They probably will push you to the amount of times they normally ask you, your job is to keep agreeing with them that yes they will get it at some point in the future even if that is tomorrow or at the weekend.
Top Tips For You To Stay In Control:
Breath - this helps you keep your tone of voice low and agreeable.
Keep calm yourself - if you get agitated they will match or even exaggerate your actions.
Tell them to STOP! - if they continue to ask the question, ignore their requests, meltdowns etc as these are all ways for them to get the attention they want from you.
Reason with them - if there is behaviour they regularly display, talk to them at a time when you are both calm and happy in each others company.
Explain why - if there is something you definitely don't want them having or doing.
It will take practice. You have to become consistent.
Start practising it over and over until you get it right - you are learning too right?
Keep at it - you got this!!
Written by Debs Bamford, a Parent Behaviour Specialist at Confidence Camp
If you are a Parent of a Teenager and:
desperately in need of some support,
a safe place to ask questions,
a community filled with other parents of teenagers;
all this and more
when you join this totally FREE Facebook Group by clicking HERE!
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