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Top five teen behaviors and how to deal with them

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Teenagers in the process of maturing will butt heads with their parents. Your teen may act as if she hates you, shun you to spend time with friends, occupy their family time with technology, and often bend the rules. Find out how to deal with the top five teen behaviors.

Your teen hates you
Your teen hates you MSClipart

Your teen hates you

Once you were your child’s best friend, someone he or she enjoyed spending time with. Lately, your teen is treating you like dirt, discounting everything you say and looking at you like you have two heads when you make a suggestion. This stage of maturing is hurtful for parents, but teens usually outgrow this by aged 16. For now, stay calm and do not react to your teen’s nasty behavior. If your teen begins to yell, ask your teen to leave the room. Tell your child you will discuss whatever the issue is when he or she loses the drama. 

Technology rules
Technology rules MSClipart

Technology rules

Your teenager’s constant texting, social networking and talking on the cell phone make it difficult to communicate with your teen.  However, if teen is doing well in school, completing chores at home and taking a semi active part in family life, a scrabble is not worth the aggravation. Parents can set limits. Some parents prefer not to let teens have computers in their rooms, which makes it harder to supervise computer usage. This is reasonable. Parents can set a limit on their teens cell phone use, set controls on the wireless router to block certain sites, and simple disable wireless access at a certain time each evening.

Teens ignore curfew
Teens ignore curfew MSClipart

Teens ignore curfew

Most teens do welcome limits. It gives them an out when their friends want to do something the teen does not want to do. If your teen is constantly breaking curfew, consider doing some research on your current curfew. Call a few of your kids' friends' parents and find out when they expect their kids’ home. You may want to grant a later curfew, depending on the age of the teen, or the activity your teen is attending. However, if your teen is testing even a gracious curfew, it is time to set consequences, like keeping them home at night for a week.

Your teen hangs out with kids you don't like
Your teen hangs out with kids you don't like MSClipart

Your teen hangs out with kids you don't like

Teens often dress strangely, have piercings, and act rudely, but they can still be decent teenagers. Criticism will only cement the attraction. As parents, you have to ask yourself why you do not like these friends. Is your teen suddenly losing interest in school or activities he or she teen once enjoyed? Are these new friendships escalating the rebellion at home? If not, then hopefully, like many teenage actions, this is just a passing phase. However, if your teen is starting to fail, you can talk with your teen about the change in behavior. Parents can express concern, ask pointed questions about schoolwork or why the teen no longer enjoys the activity. If talking does not yield any answers or address the behavior problems, do not be afraid to ask professional help to assist you in addressing the negative behavior. 

Everything is drama
Everything is drama MSClipart

Everything is drama

Even though teens may be adult size, they are still children. Their mindset is oriented to the present, and most teens, until they reach 18, are not able to see beyond what is happening right now. Teenagers have intense feelings they are only now learning to handle, and what may seem small to adults is really a big deal to teenagers. Parents should not trivialize what teenagers are experiencing. Teens will withdraw, feel misunderstood, and may stop telling a parent anything. During the drama days, listening is a parent’s best friend. Do not offer advice, disparage your teen’s friends or try to explain that someday this will not be a big deal. When your teen is sharing the drama of the event, just listen and sympathize.

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