Nobody said raising a teenager would be easy, but if your previously well-behaved teenager is suddenly acting out, then you may need to come up with a new approach to parenting. Here are some tips to tackle bad behavior in teens, whether they’ve got grades that are slipping, or they’ve been acting disrespectfully.
Find Out if There’s a Root Cause
While hormonal changes and clashes with parents can often be the cause of acting out, a lot of the time there’s a root cause of bad behavior in teenagers. If there are problems at home, i.e. a divorce or issues with a sibling, or they’re under pressure from new friends or are stressed doing their hobby, then they might cope with this by exhibiting bad behavior. If this is the case, then work with your teenager to find a healthier way for them to cope with their problems, whether it’s with therapy or making life changes.
Consider Whether They Need Professional Help
Being a parent can sometimes feel lonely, but there is support out there when teenagers are behaving badly. You may already be working with the school if there have been discipline issues or slipping grades, and people like their coaches or other trusted adults may be able to help. If the behavior has become unmanageable, you might want to take a look at igniteteentreatment.com who offer treatment for teenagers who have behavioral problems and underlying issues.
Reward Good Behavior
Punishing bad behavior often doesn’t have much of an impact on a teenager. You take away their laptop, they play with their smartphone; you stop their allowance, they have money from their Saturday job. Most teenagers don’t think of the consequences much when they act. Focusing on rewards for good behavior is likely to get you further with them. If their grades have slipped, offer an incentive for when they get back on track. If they’re skipping coaching sessions, let them use the car to drive themselves. Small rewards will show that you respect them and want them to do well.
Set Boundaries With Your Teenager
When kids are small, it’s easy to tell them no, but when they get older you want them to be able to learn independence and have their own life. From curfew to whether they’re allowed to try alcohol at parties, it’s important to set boundaries and expectations so that they know what they should be doing. It also shows them that you care.
Try to Bond Over Shared Interests
Many parents often feel they do nothing but yell at their teenager, so try to spend some quality time with them whenever you can. A shared interest such as sports or sci-fi will give you something to talk about, and it may mean your teenager opens up to you more. Even if they’ve been misbehaving lately, don’t cancel quality time, instead use it as a way to get closer and listen to any concerns they have. This will strengthen your bond over time.