It isn’t a secret that raising teenagers is arguably one of the toughest parts of being a parent. The teen years are the ones known for your kids to suddenly dislike you after all, though there could be more to it than simply not finding mum and dad ‘cool’ anymore.
That said, regardless of the reason behind why your teen is acting out, it is vitally important to get on top of this behavior as soon as possible, to prevent any sort of downward spiral which may cause detrimental effects later in life. Whether we’re talking about criminal behavior or the use of illicit substances, we’re here to give you some pointers on what you can do with an acting-out teen.
Remove Self-blame from the Equation
Off the top we want to outline that it is important to tell yourself that you are not at fault here. Far too many parents struggle with the ‘what have I done’ dilemma which is often completely incorrect when it comes to dealing with children who are acting out.
Keep in mind that your child has countless parties at play in their life, and it would be counterproductive to assume that your behaviour, and yours alone, is somehow dictating their acting out.
To end, it isn’t so much who is at fault, but rather who is able and working to get your teen back on the right path – and that is you!
Don’t Attend Every Argument You’re Invited To
One thing that we’re sure you’ll agree with us about is our children’s ability to effortlessly pull us into arguments in order to deflect our attention elsewhere.
With this in mind, it is important to understand that you do not need to attend each of the arguments you’re invited to. In most cases, the best way to deal with your child acting out is to ignore it entirely and go about your day as if nothing has happened.
Even when things are getting a little dramatic and door-slamming occurs, you don’t need to react to this at all beyond a simple ‘close the door gently,’ and leaving it at that. You would be surprised at just how fast a situation can be deflated by simply ignoring and side-stepping the aggression side of the equation.
Work to be a Role Model
For our parent readers who are struggling with understanding what is causing their child’s behaviour, it might be worth simply becoming the role model for the behaviour you would like them to exhibit.
A lot of teenagers do often mimic their parents’ behavior in a multitude of ways, and so with your teen still ‘growing up’ it remains the perfect time to adapt and control your own behaviour in order for them to learn from and replicate it.
It is also good to note that a sudden change in your own behaviour is unlikely to have a negative effect on your teen either. With your child being able to see that it is possible and a positive thing to change in the blink of an eye, so to speak, they may become more motivated to do this themselves.
Understand Potential Mental Struggles
One imperative point we would like to make is that depression, stress and anxiety can also have a profound impact on your teen’s ability to behave well and be their happy and cheery selves. If you’ve noticed behavioral decline and happiness levels falling over a long period you may be witnessing depression taking hold of your teenager and preventing positive reactions to a lot of situations.
In these cases, it is highly suggested that you reach out to New Vision Psychology for advice specific to your situation. Experts at these practices will be able to assist in understanding and treating such issues and moving forward with treatment or a better approach to specific behaviours at home.
With all of those points out of the way, it can be clear to see that there is a lot which can be done to deal with and improve your teen’s tendency to act out at home.
From a better understanding of your own behavior and a deeper comprehension of specific mental struggles and how they can impact your teenager’s life, you will be better able to manage and improve your teens acting out and get on top of potential issues that can come from this.
Keep in mind that stepping into this ‘fight’ with an open mind and an approach that comes from understanding as opposed to being overbearing is the best place to start.