I understand how adolescents can elicit a quick negative reaction from their parents because of their rebellious attitude. When they were younger, a quick reaction by mom or dad was enough to end the conflict. Now that their children are preteens or young teens, those quick reactions usually make the situation worse.
Successful parenting of an adolescent requires patience and quick insight. Rather than a reflex reaction at a heated moment, another strategy is to ask a question. Don’t give a directive as you would have done in the past when they were younger, because that will likely make them even more upset and no one wins.
Why is asking a question better than giving a quick response?
- By asking them a question, they need to take a minute to think about an answer. In that minute, an adolescent can go from being furious to inquisitive.
- If you take time to formulate a question, you will have more control over your emotions and able to navigate the situation without the feelings overwhelming you.
- Asking questions implies that you care about what they think. This is incredibly important to an adolescent who is pushing hard for independence.
Adolescent parenting is a daily experiment because your child is changing almost by the moment and this means you must change your approach to meet their maturing needs. The secret is flexibility without compromising boundaries.