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Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an "In-Charge" Parent
Q. How can I beat a 16 year old who only does things on time. For example, when I ask him to do something, he purposely spends his time just to annoy me. I’m not sure what to do.
A. This is a great question for at least two reasons: It provides an opportunity to share some basic principles of teen parenting and allows me to offer some solutions.
The average 16-year-old is 16 when he is 26, and a 16-year-old is 6 at the same time.
Take the verbal ability of the 16 and the “wisdom” of the 26, mix well “I want what I want when I want, what’s now!” 6 out of 16 running and you have a powerful, demanding and highly manipulative creature.
You can’t “make” a teenager do much of anything. At least not without many unpleasant consequences for you, the teenager and the relationship.
As I’ve said many times before, taming a teenager is like trying to put pants on a gorilla. It just frustrates you and makes the gorilla really angry.
However, with the right strategies, you can have a lot of influence on teenagers, their choices and their environment. More on this a little later.
Teenagers, like all children, are very obedient by nature.
No, I haven’t lost my mind or left the real world. Teenagers are very obedient to the ways we teach them to behave. We teach them to behave either directly by our example or indirectly by what we let them get away with and what we let them do.
Somehow, and it doesn’t really matter how, your son has gotten the idea that he can get away with the work he’s doing.
Here are three solutions to turn it around:
1. Our children are bright and know what bothers us. As they get older, it becomes a sport to see what they can get us to do in our frustration. It makes them feel a little powerful.
So the first solution is to get rid of the behaviors and responses that annoy you. Since the behavior has probably been occurring for some time, you should simply stop acting surprised by it. Expect behavior. When it comes, uninvite to shock.
When your son opens his mouth and/or behaves in a way that has bothered you until now, imagine a big hook coming out of his mouth straight at you to hook you. Then imagine yourself dodging it, punching it away, or just smiling. shut up.
If nothing else, this will amuse you and make you smile in a stressful situation. This will make your child think about what is going on, which is good in this situation.
2. Next, create the “illusion of choice and control.” Part of the struggle of young people is to be more and more responsible for themselves, which requires more control and choices in their own lives. We want them to be more and more responsible for themselves, or they’ll be living in your house in their 30s.
So when you want your teenager to do a task, like take their shoes to their room, you say, “I want you to get the shoes in the bedroom. You can do it now or by the end of the next day commercial, (when this show ends, before bed, etc.)” You as a parent you select the “by when” part.
3. Follow this up with, “You have decisions, choices, and outcomes to make. If you choose not to do what I’ve asked, then the bad outcome is…” _ something that you as a parent can control and that is unpleasant enough for your teenager. Since in this case he is 16 , if he has a driver’s license, you have very nice leverage.
You continue, “If you decide to do what I’ve asked, the good results are that you get to do more of what you’d like to do. I’ll see what you decide.”
Then walk away. Do not engage in any discussion.
And one more suggestion: Once you get into this plan, you have to be prepared to stick with it for the long haul. I can predict that when you use these solutions, you will get some kind of “change back” from your son.
Behavior modification is basically your son saying, “But Mom, I liked it the way it was before when I was in charge. Tell me you don’t really mean this! And since I think you really don’t mean it, I’m going to try my best to get you to back off and to change back.”
What you don’t get is, “Thanks, Mom. What a great solution to this problem we’ve been having. I think I want to grow up to be a counselor now.”
No, just not happening.
Stick with these solutions and I think you will like the results.
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