Tips to deal with your stubborn teenager

Shria Abrol

Good habits and healthy relationships formed in teenage make all the difference.
No matter how good you are at some point your children are going to create their own independence and think that Mom and Dad aren’t “cool”, that’s what adolescence is about. We need to understand that during the teenage years, children experience emotional turmoil, highs and lows and are particularly vulnerable to peer and parental pressure.
Teenagers are always in pursuit of creating a new identity and achieving independence. As a parent One of the first steps you need to take to reach out through your teen’s stubborn streak is to understand him as an individual, therefore, practise patience and perseverance and support children through this stormy period of emotional stress.
You may think that you know your teen, but how well do you actually know him?As a parent, you may know about things like what your teen likes to eat or who your teen’s best friend is. But these are all questions that most parents may know of their teens, as a by-product of living together.Try and understand more important aspects of your teen’s life like what embarrasses him, what does he do when he is sad or lonely? who does he turn to for sharing his worries? what scares him ? or what fears he has and so on?
Only when you listen, are you likely to understand why and when do they need your support, trust and constructive advice. When you lecture they will find every reason to avoid your company. Please don’t preach and speak to them about your struggles and achievements. Lifestyles change across two generations and are not comparable.
Your teen may be stubborn, but it is a growing phase that will surely pass. Make sure that in your anger or displeasure towards the stubbornness, you do not ignore the positives. Always appreciate the goodness that your teen has and every achievement of your teen’s that has made you proud.Share your feeling with family and friends and make sure your teen knows how much happy and proud it makes you.
The teen years are filled with confusion and changes, and it is natural for your teen to be stubborn and challenge authority. Do not make an issue out of it but handle it in a firm yet gentle way. Best way to make the teenager feel free is by setting a few boundaries which are not overbearing. Set clear boundaries so the teenager can feel free to explore while respecting set limits.
As a child counsellor , I come across a lot of teenagers who are unique and often self-contradictory. They strive for individuality yet crave peer acceptance. They act like they know everything and yet lack much experience. They feel invincible and yet are often insecure. Some teenagers thrive on testing and challenging authority and a few are destructive but they all have one thing in common which is the need to be understood and being heard. To all the parents who are having a hard time with their teenager please know that sometimes, the best way to build something is to have the right tools. If you are having a difficult time with your child, that is OK, raising a human is the hardest job in the world, give yourself some credit and know that you are doing the best you can with the resources that you have.
(The author is Child Counsellor, Jodhamal Public School)