This post was originally written in 2012 – now, I have a 15 year old, almost 13 year old, and 8 year old. The oldest is in the Autism Spectrum. Below are my tips and some experts tips on parenting disrespectful teenagers.
I am back with another “Ask Kelli” question. If you are on my newsletter, then you already know that you can email me questions and I will do my best to answer them! Be sure to put “ask Kelli” in the subject so I can find them easily.
Stephanie G. asked: How about some tips on how to get your teen to stop parenting you? From the Mom of a 17 year old girl!!
Since I am not a parent of a teen yet, I had to go to the experts for the answer to this question. I also don’t have girls and from what I understand, they are the world’s worst at trying to act like Mom.
To be quite honest, I was extremely disappointed in the quality of supposed “experts” that weighed in on this topic. Many didn’t come close to answering the question and others gave such silly answers that I am sure they don’t take parenting problem seriously!
So, before I get to some of the “better” answers, let me just say that I am pretty sure parenting teen girls isn’t all that different than adolescent boys. You find pregnancy tests in your child’s pockets, book bags, etc and I find bugs and lizards. LOL! No, seriously… parenting a child in the Autism Spectrum can be VERY challenging, so with that in mind, here is my advice.
1. Always remain calm! Although sometimes kids go totally “whack”, if you do also it only makes things worse. Trust me, there have been times that I have looked at my screaming child and thought, “hmmm…. you are so lucky I am a grown up!” The one they all seem to hate?
If you want to be treated like an Adult, you need to act like one. Go to your room and calm down. When you are calm, let’s try to have this conversation again.
Then, ignore them until they do as they are told. Unfortunately for them, as long as your child (no matter the age) lives under your roof, they have to follow your rules.
2. Provide a way for them to “get it out”. From a 2 year old breaking every crayon in the box, to a 7 year old kicking and screaming, to a 16 year old screaming “You Hate Me!”, they all need a way to release their insecurities, frustrations, and fears. Help your child to channel it into something productive! Turn on the music and dance to some high-stepping, bumping, music with them. Buy them a punching bag and gloves. As adults, (most of us) are able to make counting to 10 work. The others run like there is no tomorrow, go hunting, pump iron, and bake the day away. We need to release it, too!
3. Just Listen! As much as we Women think everyone that tells us something wants advice, I have learned over the years, unless they say, “What should I do?” they don’t! They just want someone to hear their frustrations without judgment. Work on this!
So, those are my tips for parenting a teenager – or any child for that matter. Let’s see what the experts have to say…
1. When the going gets tough I tell my kids, “You don’t need me to be your friend, you need me to be your mother” And then I mother them like crazy! 🙂 – Roberta P. Scrubz Natural Body Products
2. “Bake a lot! Their wise little mouths will be too busy crunching on brownies to deliver any coherent verbal smack downs.” ~ Tracey L Pacelli, Teen Author, www.Timewarped.net
3. “Point to the adult. Point to the child under 18.” – Source not given
4. I believe in teamwork.
T-teach respect, for you get what you expect.
E-engage in continual open communication.
A-acknowledge good behaviors.
M-make time to have fun with your teenager.
As always, “together, everyone achieves, more!”(TEAM) Ali I. Champion Parenting, Inc.
5. “If all your kids ever hear is “Don’t!”; when it comes to their dreams they won’t.”
~Ann Morgan James Author of How to Raise a Millionaire
6. If respect from your teenager is the what you yearn, then the first step must be Listening to Learn.” ~Ann Morgan James Author of How to Raise a Millionaire
7. During adolescence many teens attempt to claim their independence in a disrespectful way. Be sure to encourage your teen’s self-expression while holding to your expectations for respectful language, tone of voice, and body posture. Dr. Fran Walsh – Author of The Self-Aware Parent. www.DrFranWalfish.com