Dealing with Teenagers- crisis management

At the beginning of this academic year I was approached by the parents of a  class 10 student,they were concerned about his attitude regarding school and studies.

 

He refuses to do any homework, says it’s stupid and ‘doesn’t have anything to do with the real world.’ He tells us that he doesn’t even need to go to school in order to get a good job – all he has to do is get ‘really good at video games’ because he believes he can get a high paying job ‘testing’ them without graduating from high school.

Any attempt to talk to him regarding this results in an argument.

Another parent came for her teenage daughter who had lot of pimples and did not socialize because she thought she looked horrible.

In present times, teenagers are confronted with various challenges in life, with school and social pressures, extracurricular activities.

Parenting is certainly not easy, as an unruly teenager can be overwhelming for a family. If your teen is uncooperative, angry, abusive or detached, your home may become an arena of war filled with havoc. Cumbersome teen behaviors do not always kick-start at home, but can wobble the home and family.

Teenage years are a juncture of maturing physically, cognitively, getting to be more independent and becoming aware of how to fit in with peers.

Friends become much more important than family. At this phase in your child’s life, you want to treat them as adults, despite the fact, that they are not yet ready to accept that responsibility of being an adult.

Teenagers have to keep pace to survive in today’s world of broken homes,dysfunctional families, unsafe sex, drugs, etc.  The focus of this article is to try and understand how to resolve this crisis & in what way homoeopathy and counseling can help.

 

 

Teenage is the time when children are developing  new connections and trying to separate themselves to some extent from their families this is the basis of much of the disturbance. In addition, families, or more specifically, parents, represent authority and control.

 

As teenagers try to separate themselves from the family controls they can become overtly rebellious.

In fact, a general rebellion against authority of all kinds is quite common during these years.

This rebelliousness can have quite a destructive or even violent quality in some teenagers.
However, we must understand that  these teens are still children who  need to love and be loved and they still have plenty of playfulness and curiosity.

 

At the best this is a time of first love, of intense, passionate
relationships, a time of high ideals and of a drive to discover new ways of experiencing life & At the  worst, the tensions produce self-doubt, broken relationships, lost loves and disappointments which lead to melancholy and even depressive or self-destructive experiences.

 

Parents often question how they can change this attitude? How can they make their children aware about the reality?

In an attempt to over come this parents often get frustrated and often there is a conflict.

Parents must adopt  & gradually change expectations as young people experiment with adult like activities from the safety of a solid home base.

How to manage this conflict?

It is critical how this conflict is managed.

If these conflicts are not managed constructively, families divide, relationships degrade and criminal conduct may follow.

The teen years are confusing for both the adolescent and the parent. The teen is no longer a child, yet not quite an adult. Teens are struggling for their independence, yet sometimes unwilling to assume the accompanying responsibility. They often want to make their own rules yet have difficulty following family rules. Sometimes parents have a hard time letting their teens have the freedom teens think they deserve.

 

This is all part of the parent – teen growing up together, conflict system

Parents and their teens have more things in common than they think.

Both share: frustration, stress, time pressures, disappointment, financial stress, and fear of failure.

Both want the best for each other. How they deal with these feelings and desires can create disconnects. It can also be a basis for managing conflict constructively.

 

Communication between parents and teens is very important-

When communication starts breaking down, emotional tension increases and conflict resolution becomes more difficult- The conflict can spin out of control.

One way to resolve the conflict  or to bring things under control is to negotiate.

 

Negotiation-

 

Negotiation is an important skill when you have teenagers. It is the basis for problem solving and  setting rules or limits with teens.While negotiating we must remember the following points

 

  • it requires give and take: both parties must listen, show respect, talk, and be willing to compromise
  • it requires everyone to be clear on what is NOT negotiable

(e.g., no drinking and driving or setting a time limit for coming home or watching T.V)

  • it helps your child learn and practice this essential relationship skill

 

Negotiation is a skill most parents and adolescents need to improve and continually practice.

 

What if you don’t negotiate?

 

  • it increases the frequency and intensity of adolescent/parent power struggles
  • it increases the likelihood of extreme, “all or nothing” outcomes

(e.g., running away, physical altercations, moving out at a young age)

  • it deprives young people of chances to learn and use this essential life skill
  • it decreases the likelihood your child will transfer this necessary skill into other

relationships (e.g., dating, friends, teachers, employers and co-workers)

  • it diminishes the opportunities for gradually and safely shifting power from parent to teen.

 

 

Before you enter your next negotiation with your child (and that could be in the next five minutes!), read on and get pointers for negotiating with kids and more.

 

Start an agreement, not an argument –

Phrase your requests so that your child can say ‘yes’. He will listen more readily if you phrase your idea in a way that appeals to his need for control and independence.

If you say, ‘Would you like to set out the plates or the spoons?’ you are more likely to get cooperation than if you say, ‘Set the table NOW!’

 

Get your child involved.

If it’s getting near bedtime, you might say, ‘How many minutes do you think you should have to finish this project and get in bed on time?’ If you are discussing discipline, you might ask, ‘What do you think would be a reasonable consequence for  not doing your chores?’

 

Explain your point of view.

You could say, ‘We have to leave the playground because I have to make dinner’. Once you explain what’s on your mind, remain open to any response. If your child says, ‘I don’t care, I’m not hungry’, you might say, ‘But I am and so is your brother’.

 

Know that negotiation doesn’t mean giving in.

When you negotiate  you’re not giving in. Keep in mind that negotiating is not about winning and losing.

 

Negotiate issues in age-appropriate ways.

If your school-age child doesn’t like peas, you might ask, ‘What vegetable would you like instead?’ If your preschooler is not interested in eating at all, instead of arguing, you might consider playfully cutting a sandwich into interesting shapes to make it more appealing.

 

Respond to criticism with a reasonable question.

If your child tells you to stop nagging him to clean his room or have a bath, you might say, ‘How would you manage this yourself? When would you like to do it?’

 

Take time to cool down.

If your child is making you angry or just plain crazy, go into the other room and calm down before trying to talk. Also think about whether an emotional response from will you ease the conflict or dig a deeper hole.

 

Write down solutions.

Get the family together and appoint a secretary who makes a list of everyone’s ideas. Discuss them openly but don’t allow criticism of anyone’s idea. Also consider doing your negotiation in writing. Writing notes to an older child, such as, ‘Clean room at 5 pm’, might prompt more cooperation than nagging would.

 

Let your child win sometimes.

Pick your battles wisely and remember that changing your mind does not mean you are losing. You might say, ‘OK, I agree with you. But let’s make a deal that next time you will listen to me before blowing up’.

Remember, you have the final say.

You don’t have to reach consensus in any negotiation. Sometimes, somebody just has to make a decision. ‘It’s perfectly OK for parents to make the final decision, as long as they have heard their children’s point of view and tried to be fair. Children will come to respect that; they may not like it, but they will come to realize that it’s fair.’

There are times to negotiate and times not to negotiate

‘None of us has time to negotiate every conflict but we all negotiate our way through parenting whether we realize it or not. So, the question is not “Should I negotiate?” but “When and how?” Keep in mind that some issues are not negotiable (safety, health) and sometimes are not appropriate to negotiate at all

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