Scientific research claims that teenagers rely more on emotional centre of the brain while the part in charge of rationality is still underdeveloped. Therefore teenagers are more impulsive with limited judgement skills. This is one of the reasons why even the best of teenagers have days where their emotional judgement takes the best of them.
The deteriorating behaviour could be the realization that anger always get them what they want from a frustrated tired parent. Its pleasurable to be in control, hence enjoying winning the argument is gratifying than the punishment. Many teenagers operate on pleasure. In fact, some teenagers would rather suffer consequences than let a moment of pleasure pass especially while under peer pressure. Parent, be calm, and exercise order and control.
The “win at all cost attitude” is more rampant in teenagers who have been training for this all their life because their parent are loud, win all the time and do not listen to children because “parents are always right” Children copy from us. We have to lead by example. Learn to apologise when wrong, Listen more, observe more and more importantly, engage more with their life.
Intervention is powerful to reverse broken trends of behaviour. Implement boundaries giving reasons and also define consequences so as the teenager can understand. Be aware that for every consequence you put into place, there will be an equal or worse reaction from your teen. Things could get worse before they get better.
a) Communication– Find time to chat, laugh and share your life experiences. It’s when they are talking about their friends that you will pick up issues of concern. If inappropriate behaviour has occurred, establish consequences, clear and achievable.
b) Clear Boundaries – What acceptable and not acceptable. Teenagers are very good with teachers who keep their word – Rewards and sanctions. Make it clear what you will or will not allow – Home belief system. Most children need direction,correction and trust as they transit to adulthood. This is your time to model behaviour you want your child to pick. Give them opportunity to demonstrate corrected behaviour.
c) Counselling–when the grooming has failed to work, it’s important to take leadership of you position as a parent to another level. Involve outside bodies if necessary to counsel. A teacher they listen to, a community elder they respect, your friends or parents
When all this does not work, then it’s time to get therapeutic support from professionals. Its daunting experience but it’s important to know that it’s all about the child. Many children will never reach this stage as they will respond
when they see the parent is not giving up.It’s never too early to start but it could be too late. The harsh reality in a
foreign land is that even the parents are adapting to a new system. A system where everything is fast, we have to work, without childcare and therefore time become really expensive. We grow up once; let’s create time to bring our children up. Battle for the life of your child, and you will never regret all the effort you put in!
In my teaching profession, I have gained a wealth of experience dealing with teenagers. If you need any support, do not hesitate to contact me for a friendly chat on dealing with troublesome teenagers.