Perception - the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses. Sometimes it is important to seek advice and reflect upon situations that habor our day to day. After last weeks post I decided to do a little research on teenagers and the way they are and I came across this article from psych central.
I love that we can now research the net and find information to help us along our way. I have always been an avid reader of psychology books and this article really ran true to me and I found myself saying thank you as it justifies a whole lot of things on teenagers and their parents.
Hang in there!
The difference between the families that make it and those that don’t is parental tenacity. Parents who hang in, who continue to express love and concern, who continue to insist on knowing where their kids are going and with whom, who include their teens in family events, and who stubbornly refuse to give up are the parents who generally manage to save their kids.
Hang on (to your sense of humour)
Yes, a sense of humor. Without it, ‘rents are really sunk. As one exhausted mom told me, “I’ve decided to take the position that it’s all quite boring. Every weekend, my son goes somewhere he shouldn’t with someone he shouldn’t and does something he shouldn’t. It’s all boringly predictable.” This Mom hadn’t given up. She had discovered that putting a sardonic twist on the situation allowed her to take a step back. She was then able to look at the larger picture instead of getting caught up in the misbehavior of the week.
Take it seriously, but not personally. (This is something I really need to do)
Angry teens sometimes do have things to be angry about. But equally often, their anger seems totally out of proportion to their lot in life. If you have treated your child with love and respect all along and that child is still hostile, it may have very little to do with you or with how that child was raised. There are more influences on a child’s life than his or her parents. Parents who resolutely stay involved and responsible but who don’t take each and every misbehavior as a personal attack are usually more effective than those who take all comments and actions to heart.
Remember that the kid is as scared as you are.
Sullen and hostile moods often are covers for fear. Let’s face it: it’s scary out there! It’s hard enough to negotiate the world as adults. Many kids find it just plain overwhelming. Rather than show their vulnerability, they posture to themselves and each other. Talking and acting like a surly big shot is a great cover when a person feels small, ineffectual, and scared. ( By the way — parents who act like surly big shots are usually also feeling small, ineffectual, and scared.)
Find ways to let the teen “save face.”
It’s not all that uncommon for a kid to realise that he or she has gone too far. In those moments, it’s very important to give the kid a way to back down gracefully. Scolding, punishing, nagging, or lecturing will only make the teen defensive. When cornered, teen pride demands a hostile response. Instead, give the kid a back door. Try that sense of humor (see No. 2). See if some gentle kidding like “Who are you and where did you put my son?” alters the situation.
Understand adolescent depression.
Irritability and explosiveness in teens are sometimes symptoms of depression. If your teen’s mood seems unreasonable given his or her situation, it is important to have a professional screen for depression. Sometimes it really is about biochemistry. When that is the case, some medication and counseling will do more than lectures and consequences.
Parenting Makes Us Humble
On the other hand, if you do have things to apologise for, do it. It’s never too late to start over. Kids really do want parents, but they want parents they can trust. An honest apology and genuine efforts to make the family a better place to be can set the family in a new direction. It will take time. The kids won’t believe you at first and may even test you. But if you stick to it, most kids will come around.
One of my wise older friends tells me that the purpose of parenting is to teach us humility. There is nothing like dealing with an angry teen to teach us just how little control we have in the universe. But parents who hang on tight with love and care often end up having more influence than they would have believed possible at the time. Eventually maturity does kick in and these hostile teens become strong, independent adults.