7 Tips for Saving your Sanity with Your Teen
Teenagers. The word alone can send shivers up and down the spine of many a parent, as they recall repressed memories of screaming matches, tears and temper tantrums. Here are some tried and trusted tips from veterans who have made it through the hormonal abyss and lived to tell the tale. Next time your teenager is about to burst a blood vessel from rolling their eyes at you, try one of these tips out. The results may surprise you (and save some extra grey hairs!)
Keep it close to Home
The idea of your kids and all their friends traipsing through your home day in and day out may appear to be the biggest nightmare imaginable, but think of it this way: your teenager and his/her friends are in your home. They are spending time under your roof, rather than out and about with you worrying about what they are getting up to. Opt not to complain about the endless footsteps going through your house, and welcome and encourage your child’s friends as this will in turn help strengthen their relationship with you, as you are accepting their friends.
Master the Mood Swings
Let’s face it. Every teenager goes through what feels like 200 different moods in a single day. This is merely part of the journey, as they themselves cannot understand their tumultuous tempers. Aim to be a bit more intuitive and read their moods, rating them from mild to manic. Should your teen be having a mild moment try to sort it out then and there. However, if the moment is leaning towards mania and hysteria, give them some space to breathe and then pick up the discussion later.
Be Smart about your teens whereabouts
As parents, we cannot control every little step our children make. It is imperative that they have a certain amount of freedom and trust from your side. There are, thankfully, smaller more subtle ways in which you can keep a casual eye on your teenager. Have a noticeboard up on the fridge where you can all make a note when leaving the house. In this way your teenager can come and go as they please (to an extent of course) and you can rest easy as you at least know where they are when you get home.
Remember You’re the Adult
Your teenager may throw tantrums and act irrationally, but you don’t have to. You are the adult and in the heat of the moment you need to grit your teeth, act reasonably and keep your cool. By entering into a shouting match you only cause damage to your relationship and nothing is solved. It does not matter how upset your child becomes, you cannot, and I mean CANNOT, sink to their level. You have to set an example and try to instill calm and rationality.
Don’t always resort to punishment
At times, out of frustration, all you want to do is punish your teenager and ground them or take away their phones or whatever action comes to mind first to attempt some form of authority. Next time your teenager has done something wrong and your natural instinct is to punish them, take a breather and rather talk it out. Sit down with them, calmly, and discuss what has happened. Reason with them and attempt to understand them on their level. It is vital that you build a relationship and connect with your teenager, as opposed to resorting to arguments and upset time after time.
No, You “don’t understand them”
The age – old adage “you don’t understand” is in fact actually true. As an adult with a sound mind and sense of stability, you are not on the same wave length as your tyrannical teenager. They are not able to think clearly and control their emotions in the way that adults do. What you may be seeing is your child acting sullen and rude at the dinner table or shouting at their baby sister, but what they are going through in that moment is the torment of their failed math test or that special someone at school not returning their feelings. Try to put yourself in their shoes in these instances and become a soundboard, not a screaming match.
Develop a sense of Humour, and fast
Lastly, while your teenager is going through a whirlwind of hormonal surges, temper tantrums and outrages outbursts; the best weapon at your defense is to see the bright side of things. Take a step back, and let them experience their emotions and get their feelings out. If this results in some tears (on both your parts) that’s okay. Imagine sitting with your teen in a few years and laughing over this time while you reminisce as adults. In order to survive this trip through teenage-hood, you will need bucket loads of patience and good few laughs with and without your teen by your side.
When next you are in the middle of the vicious vortex that is teenage drama, try a few of these tips out. You will be amazed at how well they work.