Parents must avoid the Four Cardinal Sins when dealing with their adolescent:
2. Spontaneous discussions about problems
3. Insight transplants (lectures)
~Thomas Phelan, Surviving your Adolescents
Adolescents? Sounds like something you’d only touch with a pair of tweezers.
~ Alex Parker, Bringing Up Parents
Adolescence is a period of time when young people start to challenge authority and strive for independence. Even the best behaved ten-year-old can become an obnoxious, defiant, back-talking, disrespectful, fifteen year-year old. How parents and teachers address these changes is crucial. It is important to remain calm, not over react, stick to their values, be consistent, continue to love unconditionally, and have tough skin because adolescents can be rude and hurtful. In his book, Unhappy Teenagers, Dr. William Glasser suggests numerous do’s and dont’s for parents when dealing with their teens. His ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ must be avoided; they won’t help in changing teen’s behaviors. They include: crticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control. Glasser encourages adults to use his ‘Seven Connecting Habits’ instead: caring, trusting, listening, supporting, negotiation, befriending, and encouraging.
Parents and teachers are advised not to argue with the angry adolescent and not to try to get in the last word. In fact, it is impossible to get in the last word. I often tell teachers that there has never been a documented case in the history of education where a teacher got the final word in with an adolescent! Don’t argue or play “volleyball”. Walk away if possible. Let’s consider the wisdom and advice from discipline expert Fred Jones. He reminds us, “It takes one fool to backtalk, but two fools to make a conversation out of it. Backtalk is a melodrama written and produced by the student. If you take your speaking part the show goes on. If you keep your mouth shut – the show bombs.”