Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parenting angsty teens

Teens are angsty, and I know that! I have one at home and a tween that is just as angsty!!

So how do you deal with them?

I for one, dont have the answers. Every child is different and different parenting methods work for different children.

I had breakfast with some former school mates last week, and we were discussing this problem. They, of course, have more experience with this issue coz most of my friends have kids older than mine (I started late).

Me, being a type A character, will always want things MY way, and sometimes I try to prove my point to them. Doesnt always work ... in fact hardly works with teens!! But it is very hard for type A to change their behavior, thats why so much tension in the house between me and my tween.

My friend swears by her method. I call it the Little Bo Peep method. Huh? What's that, you say? Well, it's the "...leave them alone and they will come home.." method. She believes that if they are not doing anything that will threaten their lives or hurt anyone else, then you let them be and let them do what they want. Never mind if it means more work for her, never mind if it means less family time together, never mind if it means house rules are broken, never mind if it means that the child will be up way past his bedtime and will not be able to wake for school the next day, you know what I mean. She says that once the phase passes, they will just come home to you, doing what you want, the way you want it ... and there is ABSOLUTELY no tension in the house.

I salute her for that. I dont think I could do it, BUT ... I am going to give it a try. I may not succeed everytime, I may not be happy with it when trying it out, I know I will end up with more work on my end ... BUT I will try to clench my teeth and try it ... and hopefully something positive will come out of it.

Pray for me, and wish me luck. But if you know of a less painful method (for me) please share! Thanks.


iml said...

You have taught them well. It's time to slowly give them your trust. Trust them to have a good reason for the decision made. And if it's not, it's a lesson learnt. I'm still stumbling along.

stay-at-home mum said...

Guess we all stumble along the way, and learn as well :)

JoMel said...

My teen is sulky, moody, grouchy (oh wait, they are all the same meanings, are they?), easily distracted, and forgetful, and a whole host of other things.
And you know, unlike you, I have been forced to grow up at a faster rate than I should, with the arrival of this boy into my life... because technically, I should only be experiencing teenage angst for the very first time when it's Kell's turn. Know what I mean? So, that's not easy for me either.

I think, based on your description, I must be a type A person just like you. I don't believe there is a right or wrong way, or a way that's better than the other when it comes to dealing with children, teen or non teen. It is your way. The way that the kids are accustomed to. As as long as we know what we are doing, and are decisive in the approach, i.e. being consistent with our actions, rewards, and punishments, it'll work eventually. They won't be teenagers forever.

Otherwise they too will get confused and might even not take us seriously the next time. This is where I think, if I were you, would be the problem, if I, the type A person decides to adopt the Little Bo Peep method. The kids would be like, "Huh?! Is that our mother??"


stay-at-home mum said...

So you think I shouldnt go Little Bo Peep? I have trouble doing it!! Like you said: it's just not me!!

Stardust said...

I din't have time to read this last last. And SAHM, I know what you mean by enduring the pain of acting what's not you.

It's not a teen I'm dealing with. A grown up Bear acting like a cub! Thing is, it isn't that he's acting like he has a mind of his own, he's clinging onto me and expecting me to act on his behalf! ( Coughing blood ).

And if I adopt the 'Little Bo Peep', things will go tumbling down before I can salvage anything! ( Coughing more blood ).

At least your kids are acting their age. =((( I like to believe there's tons of hope for em.

Let's hug and cry...

bp said...

Thanks for sharing this and your parenting journey, I always appreciate your heartfelt sharing. With my tween I am also experiencing some teen attitude already and pulling my hair out, adding white hair also, and he is actually the one who tells me it's coz us moms have children (see, they know)! I can imagine it doesn't get easier, u hang in there!

I'm not at the actual teen stage yet tho, but do think it's impt to still have limits and rules still, albeit more relaxed/flexible than for the younger ones to match the maturity and sensibility of the growing teen. And to somehow balance the "less limited restrictions" with the trust to entrust to your teen and earn her trust... that at some point growing up ourselves, that same thing we wanted our parents to be able to trust us to do. And SAHM, I think you do have a great foundation and close relationships with your children, you teach them well, so keep going, keep doing what you think is best for them and you all (tho' much easier said than done)!

Just my 2 cents, and meanwhile, with my own three, I'm still trying to work at basic stuff 'coz they do get so terribly out of hand and climb over me, Vern calls them our ill-behaved children :(. One parenting guy did say that we are parents, not friends (friends means kids get to do anything and everything as they wish), and I like the truth in that reminder!

I pray with u for the good Lord to be our guide always and give us the wisdom, strength and grace to handle whatever parenting challenges at whatever age, and each child is different, too!