Raising a teenager can require a great deal of patience, for their fluctuating hormones and increasing need for independence may make them prone to bouts of anger and outright rebellion, but smart parents and stepparents understand that the change in personality is only a temporary condition. Knowing that unpredictable behaviour is a normal part of being teenager, though, doesn’t make it any easier when a previously agreeable child suddenly appears moody, sullen, and defiant, leaving parents wishing for simpler days.
Establishing Household Rules of Conduct
Every household with children needs to have set guidelines for behaviour so that the kids understand where the boundaries are. Ideally, children are taught to be kind and respectful long before their teenage years so that when adolescence arrives, kids are fully aware that there are limits to what sorts of behaviour will be tolerated. Having a teen in the house is sure to change the atmosphere, but when kids have been shown how to express themselves with consideration, the teen years can go much more smoothly.
Teaching Kids to Express their Emotions
From the time that they are very young, children express a wide range of feelings. If they’ve been taught to recognise and deal with all of their moods in a healthy manner, they’ll have the tools that they need to cope with anger, frustration, and other difficult emotions long before they become teenagers, but even those that haven’t yet mastered a great deal of self-control before puberty can and should be expected to balance their need for expression with the feelings of others. While everyone has a right to feel whatever they feel, no one has the right to hurt others with the inappropriate expression of their emotions.
Healthy Outlets for Anger and Anxiety
It’s not just teenagers, but people of all ages who sometimes feel overwhelmed by their emotions and allow them to have a negative impact on their behaviour. Fortunately, there are things that parents and stepparents can do to help their teenagers to release their difficult feelings without being hurtful to others. Exercise, especially regular and robust activity, gives teenagers an outlet for much of the stress that can lead to anger, anxiety, and even mild to moderate depression, which can be common amongst teens and is sometimes responsible for their hard-to-understand behaviour.
Establishing Consequences for Uncooperative Teenagers
Teenagers, like the rest of us, tend to repeat behaviours that we find rewarding, while we naturally minimise those that bring us negative consequences. This aspect of human nature can work to the advantage of parents and stepparents, who may find that by acknowledging and praising their kids and teenagers for behaviour that they find acceptable, they will have to spend less time correcting their offspring for being rude or ill-mannered. By making a change in the way that they manage their children, many parents find that their need to utilise punitive responses such as removing privileges can be kept to a minimum. Of course, the success of disciplinary techniques varies from child to child, so parents and stepparents must take into account the tactics that seem to work best with each of their kids.
Coping with Teenage Rebellion
Sometimes, despite their parents’ and stepparents’ best efforts, a teenager is simply determined to disregard house rules and defy parental authority. Unfortunately, there are limits to what parents can do in these situations and by the time that a child is a teen, they are fully aware that their parents can exert only so much control over them. Some kids and teens who exhibit extremes in emotion or seem especially prone to rebellion may be showing signs of an emotional disorder and in such cases, parents and stepparents may want to consult with their GP. While a certain amount of rebellion is normal and is simply a part of a teenager’s natural desire to break away from their parents’ control, full-out refusal to comply with reasonable expectations or an inability to exert a respectful level of self control may signal something more than teenage angst and should not be ignored.
@Rache78 .. if he spoke to me that may work so i will just have to make the statement into the air as he only speaks to his father and if he speaks to me it is muttering under his breath.. usually the communications betwenn him and his dad are by text.I will try this as i usally tell him when he says this there is the door and i will give you a nickle for the bus.
PaddlesMom - 8-Mar-18 @ 1:41 PM
@PaddlesMom - I'd try a bit of reverse psychology on him and just ignore his statements or tell him that as he is 16 now, he can start to make his own decisions. At this age kids always try to push for being able to make decisions for themselves, it's only natural. But if speak to them as adults who are capable of making their own decisions, then you might find he will back down. It's just a case of him flexing his muscles. But most often when you agree (I find with my SS and daughter), there is nowhere for their anger and resentment to go, so it dissapates. 'We love having you here, but if you're so unhappy and want to go to your mum's to live, then you'd better try to sort it out with her then', would be my reply.
Rache78 - 8-Mar-18 @ 10:22 AM
My step son has started with the i am going to live with mom forever now, and my husband wont listen when i say he is being manipulative in this regard. and the stepson now says i am putting words in his ear when i suggest maybe some guidelines and boundaries be put in place.he is extremely manipulative of his father and my husband cannot or will not see it.his mother says our house our issue and he is week on week off with each house. so what can i do as he is 16.5 and getting worse by the week, and has been maniuplating forever.
PaddlesMom - 7-Mar-18 @ 5:21 PM
I am the step parent to a girl and boy, now both in their early 20's. The son is lovely but the daughter, who started off as a pleasant and mature teenage when I first met them, had over the last couple of years, become difficult, rude, disrespectful and very spiteful. Nothing has changed on my part. She has sent texts saying that when I leave, she will have to pick up the pieces, to which I responded that I don't plan on going anywhere. Since then, she is the cause of most of our disagreements and relationship issues. She made sure she saw the end ofthe previous relationship but I don't want her to be the reason that this relationship struggles. She isn't mature enough for adult conversation, is aggressive and confrontational if ever spoken to. She makes our life difficult. She is opposing our marriage already and the wedding is not until the end of next year. Any ideas or advice would be massively appreciated. A frustrated stepparent!
Ng - 31-Oct-17 @ 8:20 PM
@lebzaza - it's teenage years. Many kids in their teenage years come out with the 'I wish you were dead' words, whether it's to their biological parents or not. It's easy to blame others when you are a teenager and she'll grow out of it. Keep talking to her and try to get around the reason why she is feeling so overwhelmed. It's a tough stage in life! But you've been with her long enough to get through it. Good luck. Ellie.
ERT7^ - 3-Jul-17 @ 9:49 AM
I have been married to my husband for 12yrs he has a daughter who's in her teens, she has been with me from the age of 4.recently she ran away from home claiming that she performed badly at school because of me and I want her dead.she was found by her dad and they just came in not explanation to me was only told that we both need a professionals psychological help.How do I deal with this
lebzaza - 2-Jul-17 @ 6:24 AM
@Dee - if you can't get on with your partner's kids sometimes it's easier to live separately (if you can afford to). It doesn't mean you have to finish the relationship with your hubby, it just means the present dynamics are too difficult to overcome. What do your kids think? Do they get on with their step-siblings? Jan.
JF - 31-May-17 @ 1:57 PM
I have been married to my husband and we both have 2 children from our previous marriage. His children are teenagers about to be young adults. I have one teenager and a preteen. This blen has been extremely difficult because my husband doesn't like to hold his kids accountable for anything. But it's the opposite when it comes to my kids. His kids really don't respect me or respond when I instruct them to do something. So I'm just to the point of giving it all up. Any advice would be welcome.