Teenagers have a tendency to push the limits and try to get more independence than they are allowed. Kids will test boundaries all their lives, but as teenagers, it can be challenging for parents to deal with this kind of behaviour. As a parent, there is no need to fear that your child will end up with substance abuse or other dangerous behaviours due to this unless it is accompanied by another issue.
One thing that parents can do to avoid power struggles with teenagers is to make sure the rules in place are set and clear for their teens. Teenagers need boundaries just as much as children do, but they will push at them hard if there are not some already in place. Sit down with your teen in a calm and respectful manner to set some boundaries.
Be very specific if you need to be. Let your teen know why you are setting these boundaries and what the possible consequences will be should they not follow these guidelines. Give this time for discussion and allow them to ask questions about it as well. Make sure that both of you have a clear understanding of the boundaries and consequences before you leave this discussion.
Another thing to do as a parent is to let your teen know that it is okay for them to come to talk to you about any problem they are having. It may seem like odd advice but many teens will not want to run to their parents when they feel they are in trouble. It is a sign of weakness to them and they are trying to prove something so it could be viewed as a negative thing for their self-esteem.
This does not mean you should tell your teen that it is “okay”, but if you let them know that the door is always open, then when they are ready to talk they will come to you. Be prepared for any situation that may arise with your teen so that way if they do approach you, you know exactly how to handle it.
Also, make sure the teenager is involved in something positive, whether it be school or extracurricular activities. When a teen is involved in these things, their focus is on that and not on getting into trouble or breaking rules.
One way to get your teen to participate in something positive is by doing it with them. It can be difficult as a parent to see your teenager outgrowing the small child you used to have but this does not mean you should stop doing things together. A great way to keep that bond with your teen is to participate in these activities alongside them.
Blessing Iyamadiken loves the art of storytelling and enjoys creating all types of content from news to entertainment. She is also a feminist and very passionate about Gender Equality. In her spare time, she loves to read or binge on Netflix.