Things To Do With A 5 Year Old Near Me Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an "In-Charge" Parent

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Parenting Your Adolescent: 3 Powerful Steps to Being an "In-Charge" Parent

Q. How to get over the 16 year old who only does things on his time frame. For example, when I ask him to do something, he purposely takes his time to upset me. I’m not sure what to do.

ONE. This is a great question for at least two reasons: It provides an opportunity to share some basic principles of parenting teenagers, and it lets me offer some solutions.

Basic principles

The average 16 year old is 16 going on 26 and 16 going on 6 at the same time.

Take the verbal ability and “wisdom” of the 16 going into the 26, mix well with the “I want what I want when I want it, which is now!” from 16 going to 6, and you have a powerful, demanding and highly manipulative creature.

You can’t “make” a teenager do much. At least not without many unpleasant consequences for you, the teen and the relationship.

As I’ve said many times before, trying to control a teenager is like trying to put pants on a gorilla. It will just frustrate you and make the gorilla really mad.

With the right strategies, however, you can have a big influence on your teens, their choices, and their environment. More on that a little later.

Teenagers, like all children, are very obedient by nature.

No, I haven’t lost my mind or left the real world. Teenagers are very obedient to the ways we teach them to behave. We teach them how to behave either directly, by our example, or indirectly, by what we let them get away with and what we allow them to do.

Solutions

Somehow, and it really doesn’t matter how, your son gets the idea that he can get away with what he’s doing.

Here are three solutions to turn this thing around:

1. Our children are smart and know what bothers us. As they get older, it becomes a sport to see what they can make us do to our frustration. It makes them feel a little powerful.

So the first solution is to unhook from the behavior and responses that bother you so much. Since the behaviors have probably been occurring for some time, you should simply stop acting surprised by them. Expect the behavior. When it comes, unhook from the invitation to get upset.

As your son opens his mouth and/or behaves in ways that have upset you so far, imagine a large hook coming out of his mouth straight toward you to hook you. Then imagine yourself bending it, drifting it, or simply smiling with your mouth closed.

If nothing else, this will entertain you and make you smile in a stressful situation. This will make your child wonder what is going on, which is good in this situation.

2. Then provide an “illusion of choice and control.” Part of the struggle for teenagers is to be increasingly responsible for themselves, which means they have more control and choices in their lives. We want them to be more and more responsible for themselves, otherwise they will be living in your house when they turn 30.

So when you want your teen to complete a task, say get his shoes in his room, here’s what you say: “I want you to bring your shoes into the bedroom. You can do it now or by the end of the next commercial, (when this show ends, before you go to bed, etc.)” You, as the parent, choose the “until when” part.

3. Follow it up with: “You have some decisions, choices, and outcomes to make. If you decide not to do what I asked, then the bad outcome will be…” _ something that you as a parent can control and that will be quite unpleasant for your teenager. As long as, in this case, they are 16 , if he has a driver’s license you have some pretty nice leverage.

You continue: “If you decide to do what I asked, then the good results will be that you will do more than you would like to do. I will watch to see what you decide.”

Then leave. Do not engage in any discussion.

And one more suggestion: As you get into this plan, you must be willing to stick with it for the long haul. I can predict that as you implement these solutions, you will get some “change” behavior from your son.

Behavior change is basically your son saying, “But Mom, I liked it the way it was before when I was in charge. Tell me you don’t really mean that! And, since I think you don’t really mean it, I’m going to do my best to to make you relent and change again.”

What you won’t get is, “Thanks, Mom. What a great solution to this problem we had. I think I want to grow up to be a counselor now.”

No, it just won’t happen.

Stick to these solutions and I think you will love the results.

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