How have you been able to cope with your teenager's attitude? What has worked for you? Do they argue with you with respect? Do you find yourself as a strict parent? How are your parenting skills the same as your parent's? Are they the same traits?
Oy - what a great topic and such a difficult one. I have two daughters and an ex-husband - I think my responses are pretty obvious. What has worked for me is trying to consistently have boundaries as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not. My 17 year old is a handful. Her father lets her do whatever she wants - I stick to my guns and continue to do what is right. The only thing that gives me hope is what my mother told me years ago. "What we say to and teach our children doesn't go in one ear and out the other". Her mother told her that about me when I was a teenager and I proved this theory to be true :) I am starting to some signs in my 22 years old that my mother was right and look forward to (hope) to seeing more proof!
Thanks Julie! I have two step kids: Victoria-14 yrs.old and Julian-12 yrs. old. We have the kid's on a 2 week rotation. I feel that defiantly boundaries need to be consistent! I know that at times when kids do the total opposite of what you say it does seem as it does go in one ear and out the other. In being true to the sense....I know that do take what we say into consideration because you do see them take your tips or idea's and apply them to their own daily lives. The proof will be shown at a certain season or moment.
Our 3 children are young adults now, but I well remember the teen years! Some of the best & worst. Ours seemed to be invinsible more than know-it-all. Although, Kristin always had a smart-ass comment for her dad. I found the best way to talk w/ them is to listen and let them kind of lead the conversation. Bill preferred to lecture - which I think we all know didn't go over too well. We set household rules and consequences, and discussed them as a family. We held to our rules. I got involved w/ their school activities (and really enjoyed it!!). I made sure to take them out to movies and dinner at times, just to have fun and connect.
My parenting skills are way better than my parent's. I read a lot. I went to parenting classes when my 1st was a baby. I learned a lot of things *not* to do from my mom. My dad tended to be more laid-back; he would be the one waiting up for me when I got home from high school football games. He taught me things by example. I guess my mom did the best she could w/ the skills she had.
Above all, remember being a teen is a stage they will grow out of. Our primary job as parents is to keep them safe (i.e., alive) and to lead them by example into the world of adulthood. A big job, I know, but we can do it. Also, I kept my own sanity by staying connected to my friends. (We also had a professional counselor for a few years!)
These are the years when the connection you built with your teenagers when they were younger really pays off. They are spiritual beings having a human experience just like us. We don't know everything they are to experience. It' important to have boundaries but don't expect them to live by the same rules you did as a teenager. Everything changes constantly, be more fluid in your parenting, parent for each individual child and for their particular needs. Don't confine them into a one size fits all model. Talk to them. Keep an open mind, and shelf your judgement. If they confess or confide something to you that you don't approve of and you judge them you'll crush your opportunity for an open honest trusting relationship. They are expanding and learning about life as they go along just like you are. There's no such thing as perfect parenting so just do your best.
My step kids were 11 yrs. old and 9 yrs old when I entered into the relationship with their father. Their father was divorced 1-2 years when a relationship was formed between us. I moved down from IL. to LA. It's quite difficult at times since I wasn't in their life when they were born to when I first met them. They both have different needs that we tend to. They are open minded...well Tori is more open minded than Julian.
How have you been able to cope with your teenager's attitude?
I deal/cope with their attitude with a loving heart because they're still learning about life and growing into a person that they want to be.
What has worked for you?
It's because of persistence, passion in having a bond and commitment to them that I have gained their respect, their love and their willingness to put out as much as we do for them.
Do they argue with you with respect?
When they are caught doing something that they were suppose to get done but they were caught sleeping in the act. They defend what they did by wanting to talk over us at times because they know they got caught.
Do you find yourself as a strict parent?
There had to be boundaries set from the beginning to be respected. I know that sometimes if you don't have these types of boundaries they may tend to walk all over you. You need to stand your ground. If you say no, no is no!
How are your parenting skills the same as your parent's?
When I moved down to LA. I would cook but then they didn't like what I cooked and it's still like that today. You know if your family is on a certain budget our parents would cook what they had and you had to eat what was on your plate (even if you were the last one to get up from the dinner table---I was one of them in my youth) you at what was made. I don't think that I look like a McDonald's restaurant where I have the adult meal and the kids meal. I make things the family likes but it's not going to be mac and cheese every night (because Julian loves mac and cheese). Tori was open minded to all types of food but since she stated she was a vegetarian (3 weeks ago) she hasn't been wanting to eat what we have available. Julian doesn't like banana's, meatballs, spaghetti with the Ragu sauce, he's closed minded and doesn't want to step out of the box pertaining to foods and new experience's. What might have worked for our parent's doesn't necessarily work for the kids of today. In some instances it maybe the same but I feel that I'm a better step mom because of the experience's in life that I have already experienced.
Are they the same traits?
I think that my parenting skills are much different than my parent's. However, I will try something that they used on me to use on my step kids. Now, except today we have technology that kids now a days just can't live without!
This sure is a great topic! I have FOUR teens TRIPLETS (Girl, Girl, Boy, age 13-1/2) and big brother just turned 15.
My boys are wonderful...but the girls have challenged me since they were about 8 years old. I rarely have to take away boy privileges but the girls lose multiple privileges every day! This is definitely the hardest parenting has ever been for me. I am trying to learn and deal with things appropriately and agree with Julie that you need to be consistent and stick to your guns as well as setting boundaries.
Ironically it is one of my 13 year old daughters who is always reminding me that in about 5 more years she'll be moving out and going to college and that I will miss her terribly. She's probably right about that, so we should try and enjoy this time as much as possible.
I remember what an awful teen I was and all the trouble I was for my own parents, so in some ways I feel like I "deserve" these teen attitudes. I also feel good knowing that (hopefully) they will have kids someday who do the same thing to them as "pay back." LOL
Anyway, I'm always trying to do things that enhance our family life and am quite often talking about teen situations on my blog MommyBlogExpert.com so I hope you'll all visit there and perhaps find some solutions for the tough times we're all struggling with.
Ultimately, we need to try the best we can to be good parents in a supportive, albeit non-intrusive, role. Positive thinking in all teen interaction is my best advice, though sometimes it's really hard work to be always practicing what you're preaching.
I've learned to just listen to what they are actually saying and try to respond, not react (which is sometimes hard to do). I am very strict, so when my sons have a quam about something, I know it's something they must really feel strongly about and they're usually right-to some extent. I sometimes forget that they are logical thinking young men at times and I have to honor that...adults aren't always right, and that's ok.
what worked for me was also very difficult for myself to handle, but I realized long after that I too had to learn that I can't force my kids to listen to me once they hit a certain age that is. lol. I simply would tell my kids, This is my knowledge of this situation, either if I've "been there" or not. I would remind them that it's their responsibility to accept the consequences of their actions if they choose to not heed my advice. And I had to sit back and let them deal with it, with only verbal support from my end. 99% of the time, at least for the first few things they thought they "knew" more than I did, on. They learned that I was right, and eventually they began to understand that I wasn't trying to "run" their lives, but I was trying to "help" them not make mistakes that I saw a way out of. It's frustrating to sit back and watch your kids make mistakes, especially if they are BIG mistakes that you "tried" to help them understand how to avoid. YOU, the parent, have to keep in mind. If you gave them the advice that could have prevented the mistake than YOUR JOB WAS DONE. It's now on their shoulders if they choose not to use your advice. Therefor, when they fail, it's also YOUR job to not throw it in their faces in a "matter of fact - I told you so" kinda way.
They won't learn to listen to you that way. If you do, however, approach them and say "What's done is done. Now how are you going to handle this? DO you want my advice on how to? I'm sorry that this had to happen, do you understand why it happened? What did you learn from your mistake?" Then they will know that you are being sensitive to their need to be a unique person (not your mini me) and that you are being pro active in their lives, in a good way.
How have you been able to cope with your teenager's attitude? Yes, but frustrating at times.
What has worked for you? Mutual respect and making sure to listen when they want to talk.
Do they argue with you with respect? no
Do you find yourself as a strict parent? yes
How are your parenting skills the same as your parent's? pretty much the same yes
Are they the same traits? yes