Our children as wonderful as they are, aren’t exactly obedient all of the time. Suddenly your child may be refusing or blatantly ignoring your requests for them to do something. The good news is that this is all normal, as frustrating as it is, it is normal for your child to test the boundaries.
As your child matures and learns more about the world around them, the development of their own opinions about relationships and rules is starts to form.
As parents you are able to show your child that instead of you being part of the problem, that you are actually on their side all the time. You can do this by being kind but firm in your requests. If your child has a problem abiding by requests, talk the situation out and try get to the bottom of your child’s defiance.
Reinforcing good behaviour means teaching your child how to control themselves and rewarding through positive comments or appreciation. This includes empowering your child to gain and strut their own independence. Get your child involved in picking the evenings meal for example. This does not teach your child that he or she is running the house but rather shows them that you respect and value their opinion and enjoy them being part of the household.
Essentially, everyone is going to butt heads at some point and especially when your child is trying to figure out their place in the world. This also needn’t be a terrible time in household, through the respecting of each others opinions and boundaries a harmonious environment can continue.
Here are some ideas on how you can deal with your children and this new stage in their development.
- Acknowledge their anger – If you child is flooded with emotion, acknowledge their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes. Can you remember how strong your own anger was at that age? It’s too easy to dismiss their reasons for rage as being teenage and silly.
- Stay connected – Try to get some special time with each of your children if nothing more than just to talk about life in general. By volunteering information about your own adolescence it can help them to understand how growing up has always been difficult.
- You don’t have to be liked – Many parents are desperate to be popular with their kids, you are not there to only be your child’s friend but rather to guide them to make the right decisions in life.
- Negotiate trade-offs – These allow you to let go gradually and provide your child with an increase in independence. Parents who try and keep their teenagers as dependent as they were when they were smaller will come into conflict with their children.
- Communicate any way that you can – Times have changed, which means that so have the ways in which your children communicate. Allow them the opportunity to use text messages to talk to you about something that is on their mind. Forget about the means that they are using to do this and focus on the fact that you would rather know what is going on and if your assistance is needed.