Dealing With Adolescents

Dealing with adolescents is one of the most challenging things parents are faced with. No matter how hard they try, nothing is ever good enough for the young person. As far as they are concerned adolescents think that parents are too slow or too harsh, too demanding or too old and whatever else they can think of which ultimately brings chaos into the household.

Unfortunately many parents have forgotten what it was like when they were the same age and like their parents make the same mistakes,; not being firm with their young teenage childre,. Yes ‘firm ‘ is the magic word which can make all the difference. It must be remembered that between the age of twelve and sixteen children’s bodies go through a great change and these are responsinble for their moods.. This has an effect on how they interact with people of all ages. Suddenly adults don’t know anything and friends are the most important part of their lives. Likes and dislikes have no grey areas but definite boundaries. It is either black or white. With family members they are belligerent and defiant, while with people outside the home, sweet and accommodating.

So how can parents survive this transitional period? Coming from a teacher who is always the prime hit target of all the adolescents in her class, her golden and infallible rule is firmness without deviation.  Here are some example.

‘You don’t feel like working? Very well stay back during recess, You and the other three students can catch up on some extra grammar exercise.’

‘Seeing you prefer talking to your friend, you can now come and sit at the front.’

If there is one thing young people hate, that thing is to be kept in and miss out on socializing. Parents can use this trick but must remember not to give in. The rules that are made must be followed to the letter.

Naturally there are shocked reactions, sometime outbursts of anger, tears or promises to stop talking: none of these conclude satisfactorily, adolescents have a very short memory when it comes to their own way of thinking. Yet when they realize that the teacher means what she says, the attitude changes and a productive relationship is established to the satisfaction of everyone concerned. Believe me it does work, after all a class is made up of over twenty students of the same age and if I could not control my young learners, they would not be learning and I would be a wreck.

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