You tell your teenager one thing, yet they do another. It is like whatever you say, they are automatically programmed to disagree. You’re instantly taken back to when your little girl or boy was two and finally learned the word “no.” It seemed like for the next few months, that was his or her only response.
Though it was difficult then, it seems even worse now. At least when they were toddlers you could put them in time-out or bribe them with ice cream. Now it seems like no trick will work.
We understand the struggle defiant behavior can be for any parent. To help, we’ve compiled our best defiant teenager strategies. Applying some of these can help improve your child’s behavior and strength your parent/teen relationship.
Set consistent, clear rules
Your defiant teenager will always push the limits to see what they can get away with. Having rules that constantly bend or don’t apply can send mixed messages to a teen. Although it might be okay to let your son stay out past midnight on a rare occasion, making a habit of changing his curfew time often is not a good idea. Be consistent with rules and have them in writing to reference.
Set up a time to volunteer
Defiant teenagers are typically more consumed with themselves and their own problems than trying to see other’s perspectives. Even if it is once a month, have them participate in community service. Bringing awareness to other people’s hardships and having a positive impact on another person’s life can make teenagers think more about others and less about themselves. To learn about the benefit of volunteering on teens, read more here.
Stay connected to your defiant teenager
Parents have this idea that kids don’t want them around and that is so wrong. If a teen says, ‘I don’t want you to come to this,’ then go anyway. – Gregory Ramey, child psychologist at the Clients’s Medical Center of Dayton, Ohio
Though your defiant teenager seems to not want you around or have anything to do with you, they need your guidance, love and support. Even if they are unwilling to admit it, your pride in their achievements and understanding of their failures is vital.
Use the times you already spend together to connect, such as dinnertime or car rides. Set aside technology and truly be present. Ask questions and make sure to listen more than you talk. You’ll be surprised at how open your teen will be.
At blueFire Wilderness Therapy, families are an integral part of each teen’s development. Through family meetings and parenting sessions, family relationships are mended, nurtured and prepared for the teen’s return home. Though you might be struggling with a defiant teenager right now with little hope for a brighter future, wilderness therapy can have a positive, lasting effect for any teenager.
To learn more, call us today at 844-413-1999.