Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mindful Parenting: Attitude Problems of Teens

Teens are making a difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. Sometimes a teen will start exhibiting attitude changes that are not agreeable with you or your family. Sulking, defiance, aggression, lying, and sarcasm are common attitude problems. Learn the best ways to cope with these issues.

The Sulking Teen

Chances are that you and your teen will run into some disagreements. For now, we will use a homework example. Your teen has a huge project due soon, and you want him or her to get started on it. Of course, your teen would rather postpone the work. A sulking teen will pout, say something hurtful to you, and lock themselves away in their room. He or she may disappear under a hooded sweatshirt and act like the world has just ended. Your teen is doing this because he or she has not yet learned how to express their emotions properly. Do not react to the sulking. Instead, encourage them to verbalize their feelings. Once they put their thoughts into words, you can have a discussion on the issue.

The Defiant Teen

Using our homework example, your teen refuses to do the work simply because you suggested it. He or she may frequently get into disagreements for the sake of arguing. Again, do not react to this display of attitude. Pick your battles and ask yourself if the argument is worth it. If it is, encourage your teen to calmly talk with you. Usually with defiant behavior there is something else going on. Getting to the root of the problem in often the key.

The Aggressive Teen

Suggesting your teen do their project now results in him or her punching a wall, kicking their backpack, or other displays of aggression. Teens express themselves this way because they have not learned alternative and more effective ways of doing so. Encourage sports and other activities to burn off their energy. Show them by example how to communicate anger or frustration.

The Lying Teen

This type of attitude assures you that the project is nearly finished, or they tell you they will get started on it while having no intention of doing so. Teens need to learn that lying is not an effective way of getting what they want. Set up clear consequences for lying so your teen learns it is not a viable option.

The Sarcastic Teen

When you tell your teen to start their project, they respond with a cutting and hurtful remark. This is one of the most frustrating attitudes. Explain to your teen that their remarks are disrespectful. Some teens honestly do not realize what they are doing or how it affects others. Show them examples of respectful communication and sarcastic communication. Once they understand the difference, have specific consequences for their sarcastic reactions.

For the most part, teen attitude problems can be handled with some patience and consistency. If this behavior worsens, you might want to consider a more structured environment like boarding schools. Having an ongoing dialog with your teen will help teach him or her better and more effective ways to communicate.

Kaylee Wilson is a proud single mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at Help Your Teen Now. Help Your Teen Now brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings. Click here to learn more about boarding schools in NORTH CAROLINA.

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