Parenting teens is never an easy task, having a defiant teen can be even harder for not just you but your family. I think no matter what kind of parent you are, you are bound to have a teen who is trouble at one time or another. That’s why I wanted to share these 6 tips for effective parenting when you have a defiant teen. 

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries allows you to stick to your guns. When you set restrictions, be prepared to follow through. Use caution while making empty threats since your child may call your bluff. If you’re going to set a limit, make sure you stick to it. If your teen battled with their sibling on Wednesday, don’t allow them to have the car keys on Friday night. Don’t be surprised if your youngster has a negative reaction, and make sure your punishment is proportionate to the “crime.” There is no need to overdo it. Just keep in mind that they must accept responsibility for their actions. Setting your own boundaries and encouraging your teen to do the same can sometimes be just what your relationship needs!

Learning to Problem Solve

As a parent, you are your child’s teacher, coach, and limit setter. It is part of your duty to educate them how to solve problems correctly. Learning effective coping techniques and establishing ways to communicate with one another without being angry is critical. Take a step back, breathe, relax, and address the problem with a level and cool head. Listen to what they have to say and offer suggestions if they are stumped. Your adolescent looks to you to teach them how to manage their emotions and problem solve with their peers. One of the best ways is by example and that can take some inner reflection from many parents, and that is okay. We all want to work to improve and there is no time like the present, as we all know the teenage years can get messy.  

Celebrate Small Victories 

Take baby steps and hope for gradual change, it will never happen overnight when it comes to your teens. It could be as simple as withdrawing from an argument rather than engaging in a power struggle with your child. One place to begin is to advocate for yourself. “Don’t talk to me that way, I don’t like it,” is an immediate accomplishment that begins to change your attitude. It enables you to begin your journey as a positive, productive parent. Look for minor victories and take a minute to celebrate them when they occur.

Photo by kat wilcox:

Pick Your Battles

Choose the most significant behaviour to address first and start planning the measures to alter it. Work on getting that under control before moving on to the next item on the list. Assume you are the parent of a teen who is engaging in risky teen behaviour, such as violating curfew, failing to take their schoolwork seriously, and being disrespectful. You can’t take on everything at once or you’ll fail. First, look for safety issues. Seek professionals if you feel necessary, ensuring you are getting your teen involved in choosing the right fit for them.  Set restrictions, expectations and follow through with consequences and rewards for your teen, and then move on to the next item on your list.

Create An Action Plan

Prepare what you’re going to say to your youngster before he acts up again. Deliver your message in as straightforward a manner as feasible. This not only helps you stay businesslike and impartial, but it also helps you detach yourself from your child’s conduct by not getting sucked into a quarrel. When you are about to get into it with your teen, take a breath and stop the conversation: “clearly we are very heated, let’s take a moment to go sit and write down what we want to address directly.” Recognizing that their feelings are valid and having them do the same will help overtime in many aspects of their lives. 

Find A Support Network

Extend your support system’s capabilities. If you remain isolated, things frequently worsen, making you feel more alone than ever. You may not believe that anyone will listen or support you, yet you may be surprised at how people react. Knowing that you’re going through a difficult period, a friend might be willing to meet you for coffee once a week and discuss. Asking for help and talking about what’s going on is vital as a parent, whether you go to a therapist, join a support group, chat to others at your child’s school, or confide in a trusted family member or friend. Simply put it out there and remain open to comments.

I firmly think that change is always possible, no matter how horrible things seem. Remember that when we change, we help our children change—and even minor changes in behaviour are significant. When we get stronger, we create a good example for our children to follow in their own life. There is no magic to any of this; it is all about you, the parent, changing how you respond. Recognize that once you assume the role of a more effective parent, you will most likely keep things going forward, and each new success will feed your ability to parent more effectively.