Teenagers can give most parents nightmares and an argumentative teen, who will not back down is not easy to handle, especially for a single mom. Arguments are no good and just like you do not like to hang out with people who argue with you all the time, similarly your teen is going to avoid you if the kid begins to associate you with negative feelings. However, as single parents we need to set rules for the kids and when it comes to teens years, these rules do get difficult to reinforce. All the same arguing is not going to help.
The question now is how can one deal with a stubborn teen so that we do not break the teen’s spirit and yet keep the teen out of danger. Some tips listed below will help in this area:
- Rules – In order to avoid arguments and friction, it is important that you set down some basic rules in the house. Small things like decorum, curfew times and study rules, etc. should be laid down clearly, and early in life, so that the teen knows what to expect. When you set down rules, make sure they are clear and precise. Do not ask one thing of them today and break your own rule tomorrow. So if you have set a rule that there will be no television during meal time, don’t go ahead and break the rule when it convenient, while trying to set it in stone for the teen. Remember that teens will learn more by example than preaching and they are no longer children who can be given the ‘I said so’ line.
- Responsibility – Teens are over the child stage in their lives and are soon going to be grown adults. This is a good time to give them certain responsibilities. Make sure that you also drive home the point that not fulfilling your responsibilities will have certain consequences. Teens who have everything served to them on a platter will often not realize the value of what they have and thus get to be stubborn. Instead of fighting them all the time, simply give them certain responsibilities and ask them to prove that they are old enough to be taken seriously. Anything from common household chores like taking out the garbage or laying the table to more serious responsibilities like caring for a sibling, a pet or a family member, you can try it all.
- Reason – A stubborn teen should not be seen as an enemy who has to be crushed, instead you should be proud that you kid has enough character and strength to hold his/her ground. Instead of talking down to your teen, reason with the kid. Listen to what he/she has to say and then put your point of view forward.
The teenage years are not a cake walk for anyone and expecting your teen to always toe the line is unfair. If you have a stubborn teen on hand, don’t loose your cool but instead adopt a mature and reasonable approach and in cases where you are sure of your point, dig in your heels and drive the point home.