Dealing wth teenagers

@ellie26 (4128)
Malaysia
February 8, 2009 10:32am CST
We all have been through our teenage years. That was the age where we were just discovering ourselves, being adventures and getting to know the word freedom. I remember how teenagers were during my days. Most were not as adventures and troublesome like teenagers nowadays. I have two growing teenagers and boy, I can say I am having difficult times dealing with their not so educational activities. My eldest is always talking on the phone and while my second boy is hooked up to internet game. I try to get them to study but it just fell on to deaf ears. I constantly bickering with them and yet they just ignore me sometimes. I find that they are so rebellious and hard headed. I couldn't tell them what to do without being talked back or getting on my nerve. I am not saying they are like that all the time but most of the time. I couldn't get them to clean their room or even get them to help around the house. I am getting a lot of stress when dealing with them. I guess my discipline technique is no longer effective on them. How can I get them to do what I want them to do? Is it too late to change them now? Help me out here.
2 people like this
11 responses
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
8 Feb 09
I helped raise 4 boys. I know where you are coming from. Here are a few techniques you can try. Begin to think of your boys as young adults, and treat them as you would an adult neighbor or friend. Realize that they are young adults and treat them with the respect that you demand from them. Forget discipline! These are young adults! When you want or need something from a friend or neighbor, you do a trade, or work out a deal. Try this with your boys. Tell them," we are in this together and we have to make the best of it. How would you suggest we get this done?" Give this a try! It just might work for you, as it did for me.
1 person likes this
• India
9 Feb 09
I just needed to drop in here… I am reading all the responses carefully coz I am headed the same way as Ellie. My son will be 10 this July and am I already having problems with him. Same as Ellie…too busy in his own world, no active interest in studies (he will do it routinely, but never happily), never cleaning up his work, answering back if I push him too hard, having his own excuses etc. Now my point is that I read your response with interest…I started the ‘trading’ thing with him a few years ago, when he was in Std I. It was always a team effort between us and he was more than enthusiastic and responsive to my efforts. Of late, maybe a year or so, I am seeing this change in him. I have stopped imposing myself, I have stopped hitting his butt, I have stopped shouting and am more into asking him what his problem is…(naturally) he has no problem and does not really know why he is behaving the way he is…just yesterday evening after one of our common tiffs, he told me ‘don’t just stare at me and ask me what is wrong, you know I have no answer to that…’ what else could I have said after that? Usually he is his normal self for a few days (he tries consciously) and then it’s the same again. Do you have any suggestions as to what else can I do?
2 people like this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
9 Feb 09
I've lived past 75 years, and the hardest time in my life was as a teenager. Some of the best times too, like when I was seduced by a woman of 28 when I was 14), but getting back to the question at hand; its very hard to answer your questions without meeting the boy and getting to know more about him. Does he have any problems in his life? Like is he worrying? is he bullied at school? teacher problems? what are his friends like? How are his marks? does he have to work hard to keep up his school work? Do you try to be his best friend? Ever cook up his favorite meal? Get on his good side? kiss him goodbye as he leaves for school? Boys need love to! Buy him some nice clothes. All these things are not dependent on his being perfect at home, but they might help him to see the light. Its important to remember- he is almost grown, he will hate you for the rest of your life if you are mean-hearted and do not show him your Love. On the other hand, he will return your love 2 fold (maybe not in the next 5 years)and be your best friend forever, if you bend over backwards to be his best friend right now.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
10 Feb 09
Hi sudipta! Sorry to hear you are still struggling with your son. I am a little bit too! He's calmed down slightly on the language, but I know we still have a ways to go on the problems we are having. I will never pretend to be the perfect parent, but I can tell you what works best with my daughter is along the lines of what barehugs suggests. I might be able to add some more details or suggestions. It seems when I just "hang out" with my daughter, by watching movies or going to starbucks, things get better between us. I don't advocate 100% being their "friend" all the time, but I do believe that we need to do our best to find a healthy balance between being their friend and being their parent. If you could make some time to just BE with him where you aren't talking about any "issues" such as homework, behavior etc. it might help begin to put your relationship back in a positive direction. Honestly, when I have that type of non-stressful one on one time with my son, it helps too. Of course we still have to deal with the daily "musts" in life, such as homework, getting to school, helping out around the house, but just try not to forget to enjoy some time without confrotations about conflicts. Make sense?
1 person likes this
@roniroxas (10576)
• Philippines
8 Feb 09
i am a single mom of four teens. and i make sure that they are aware of who is the boss of this house. they dont use the phone except for very important matters. they can only use the computer if they will use it for researches or anything that the school demands. playing at the pc is prohibited. they help with the chores around the house. of course they still make me angry i think that is natural but i make sure that they give me what i want before i give what they want. i started disipline at an early age so they are brought up that way. i can say that if they insist on doing things like talking hours and hours at the phone i myself take of the connection of the phone (lol) i also take off the conection of the PC. i maybe harsh but i need to let them know that i am the boss around here. and so far so good they do follow orders. thank God. but like i told you i still get angry and mad at them. they are no perfect but i make sure they know where they satnd. your problem indeed is very stressful. i hope you can find a good way for them to listen to you and for them to realize that you are important.
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@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
10 Feb 09
That is exactly what I am doing. I want them to know that I am in-charge but it didn't work. You are on the right track disciplining them at an early age.
@roniroxas (10576)
• Philippines
11 Feb 09
you can do that. i know you can. sometimes it will break your heart when you need to give them tough love but i know you will both benifit from this. you and your son. dont give up. try and try until you suceed. as you said i am on the right track but still have to be very alert for you know teens can be really sneaky. goodluck to the both of us.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Thanks for the encouragement, roniroxas. I hope I will win this 'battle' very soon.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
10 Feb 09
I think there need to be support groups for "parents of teenagers?! lol Seriously, I think this is one of the hardest times for parents and children. But then again, I have probably thought that through EVERY "stage" that they've been through! Remember the terrible two's? Now we are at the terrible THIRTEEN'S! I think that the best apporoach varries depending on the personalities of the parent and the child. I do think it is important to have some type of "friend" relationship with your child, but I also think that does NOT meant that we forget we are also their PARENT. One thing that helps me on the good days, is remember to TRY not to take things too personally. It is a STATE and their bodies and minds are going through a LOT. This doesn't mean it's okay to tolerate disprespect on a regular basis, but what I do mean is that we need to be a little bit understanding. One thing that I've learned recently is the theory of rewarding good behavior VS rewarding bad behavior...Of course it is good to reward good behavior, we do this with things such as verbal praise as well and tangible gifts, allowance etc. What we sometimes DON'T realize is that sometimes we reward NEGATIVE behavior without realizing it. Sometimes we do that by engaging in an argument. Giving them TOO MUCH attention when they are behaving badly. Sometimes when we scream and yell at our children it is a form of reward (ironically) because it is giving them attention. Sometimes children want our attention and if they don't get it with their GOOD behavior they will conciously or unconciously seek it out with BAD behavior.
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@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Yes, much of what you said here I agree. I just wonder how did the olden days parents taught their children. I don't have a 'friend' relationship with my parents and yet I turned out to be not a rebellious teen. I remembered that I was very afraid of my late father even though he was not mean but he was very strict about going out with friends. I guess those days parents have great control on their children and furthermore, those days, not much entertainment for teenagers.
@dpk262006 (56482)
• Delhi, India
10 Feb 09
I think we all face the similar situation. Teenagers just do not listen to us, they pass their time, as per their choice and likings. They tend to feel that they have grown up and now no one should 'instruct' them what to do and what not to do. But, as a parent, we on our part, keep advising them. I think if they are handling their studies in a appreciable manner, then they should be allowed to spend their time, as per their likings and if they are not performing well in their studies, they should be strictly told that their studies and career comes first, than anything else. It would not be advisable to treat them with an iron hand, they needed to be handled with care and politeness. Our harsh words and strict actions, make them more rebelious, I feel. Good Post!
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@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Hi dpk262006, well what you say is very true. I feel as parents we should always give our best to guide them in the hope that when they grow up, they will become good and successful citizen. Unfortunate for me, my boys doesn't really excel in their study. Much blame goes to me as I didn't pay much attention in their studies when they were much younger. But I am trying my best to be more strict on them especially their studies. Hopefully, they will make me proud in their studies.
@dpk262006 (56482)
• Delhi, India
17 Feb 09
You need to tell them the importance of education and career in their lives. You may please guide your sons that if one is not educated enough, he may face problems in shaping a good career and education always gives you some kind of reward in your life, it does not waste and an educated person is always respected.
@chingbeem (910)
• Philippines
8 Feb 09
Hi-I have 2. A girl-17,in College taking up pre-school education. And a boy 16-third year high school. Their hands are always full...laptop(though,they dont go for internet games),they chat til kingdom come. Its very hard to talk to them because an Ipod is always connected to the ears...if their hands are on the keyboards-their fingers twist and turn with their cellphones..texting also til kingdom come...sometimes...my BP soars so high from all the stress. They dont even study. My son,as soon as he arrives from school would not even bother to get out of his uniform,he would start chatting right away...I really dont understand...they are with these people all the day...when they go home,they chat and text.... No matter how I say..."it is your responsibility to have fun and study",you are always having fun...but you dont study at all.."...this goes to deaf ears of course. I guess,I will have to relax and hope that the adventurous and rebellious stage would pass soon...(hope-sooner) I realized,that if I nag them,the more they would like to rebel...so I leave them be. I mind my own things,cleaning the clutter(though I always have the urge to just throw everything). Last week end,my son brought 15 boys to the house...they spent 2 nights here...I cooked dinner last friday,on saturday-I prepared breakfast-lunch-dinner.on Friday-breakfast again...and if my son didnt tell them that we were going out...no one had a plan to go home yet. I was glad,they were in my house,instead of my son with them...but imagine how much I spent for the food. My husband is away on a trip(work),he had to send me additonal cash for the food. I am sure that as long as we show love and respect to them,as soon as they mature...they will turn out to be good people. The only thing I am grateful is they both do not talk back...they sometimes anwswer in a not so nice voice-but I see to it that they change the attitude,I guess...our culture has something to do with this...I dont know. Just remain tough-but loving...I know i will not be of so much help,but at least-you know you are not alone.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 09
My 17 year old daughter is the same way, always on the phone music up loud, ipod and cell phone. Her room is not always as neat as I would like it but hey she is a straight A student and is respectful to all. She also takes college classes after she attends regular school. She will be getting her associates degree only siz months after finishing high school. Some children have the natural thing going at school and do not have to put in the time studying as we might have had to do as children.
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@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
10 Feb 09
The modern technology is great but it does give negatives impact on teenagers. My eldest son has the habit of talking on his cell phones for hours. Even when I asked him to do something, the cell phones always glued on to his ear. It just make me feel angry more. My second son favorites daily activity is playing online internet game. He could sit facing the pc for hours even neglecting his food. Just imagine what it will be like when new invention comes out. I think the furture teens will be much harder to handle. Perhaps they will become more rebellious earlier. Anyway, I like your "remain tough-but loving", perhaps this should be another way to cope with my boys adult-kid behaviour.
@giay0422 (60)
• Philippines
9 Feb 09
Teenagers nowadays were realy different remembering what I was way back then. I have two teen-age nieces and they seem not to care at all when it comes to helping their moms with household chores. Yah! they're always either on the phone, internet and TV. What their moms do, still give them household responsibilites. Nagging is a no no since they are girls. Anyway, we just give them praises if things were done properly and when they got good marks in school.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
I think teenage girls and boys have different characters. I mean girls are softer, less rebellious but sensitive. Whereas boys are on the tougher side. Yes, they are always on the phone, internet or tv and when doing nothing, sleep. I do give my boys praises when they did good work but this comes rarely as most of the time they want to hang out with friends.
@grammasnook (1877)
• United States
9 Feb 09
Ellie, We tend to say that teens rebel, the way the teens look at it now is that we are just old and do not understand lol. I have raised 6 teenagers and the boys are always so much more challenging. Maybe you might want to sit down and ask them what their goals are and what kind of schedule they would like to do as far as cleaning and school work. The answer may suprise you. At that point you are asking and not nagging. Then come to an agreement. They still want us to parent but they also want to be an adult. They are caught in the middle boy? man? As far as you changing your children this will never ever happen they will evolve before your very eyes. One day he was my little boy and the next day I was looking at a responsible man. I wish you all the luck and hope it helped a bit.
1 person likes this
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
16 Feb 09
Hi grammasnook, I have done that, sitting down with them and ask them what they want to do. Well, the answer did surprise me. I never realized that it is going to be this though. I also realized that trying to change their behavior at this age will prove fruitless. I will try to sit down and talk to them again and see what agreement we can come up with. Thanks for the advise, grammasnook.
• United States
8 Feb 09
I recommend you spank them, at least the younger one to set an example for the older one. That is one of the best ways to do it. My brother got beat when he was "distracted" like that and well it worked. He got back on track and the beating set an example for me that either dont get caught distracted or dont distract cause parents will beat my butt. If their studies are being affected by all the distractions like really badly where they are getting Cs and Ds then you should for sure hit them but if they are still getting As then obviously its not bothering them. Its the teenage years, you can't really mess with it. They talk back.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
10 Feb 09
Well, spanking them will not be effective now that they are big and taller than me. I was quite lenient with them when they didn't do well in their studies. I just give them some motherly advices and now they thought that mummy will not get angry if they do poorly on their study. I should have been more stern.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
8 Feb 09
You are about to face the greatest challenge in your life ie is disciplining the teenagers. Teenagers around that age or torn between being a kid and an adult. They no longer want you to dictate their lives as they feel they have come out of the small boy image but neither can they be considered adult as they are still dependent on you. They are fighting to be considered adultkid, physically they might be big but mentally they still have the mind of a small boy. What you can do is to listen to them and make yourself be a friend to them as what they really need is attention. Praise them openly and do not act harshly when you want to ask them to do anything. They are at the height of their rebellious age and going against the grain might not be effective. So go with their flow.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
8 Feb 09
Hello zandi458, I have long seen it coming but I kept my mouth shut too long that it is now I think too late to give them that motherly advice/nagging? Adultkid like you say is a dangerous phase of life if we just follow their flow without strict supervision. I can be their friend but not the friend that will say ok to everything they do. Sometimes some assertion is needed to ensure that they will not fall into the wrong group. I am not too sure how to react if one day they come home with a pregnant teen.
1 person likes this
@thaMARKER (3094)
• Philippines
1 Jul 09
I wanted to be part of an international fashion magazine – part of the editorial board I mean. But I also to be a receptionist of a grand hotel. I wanted to meet a lot of people, different people in a day. That would be exciting I guess..
@thaMARKER (3094)
• Philippines
1 Jul 09
ERRATUM..
@thaMARKER (3094)
• Philippines
1 Jul 09
It’s hard but you have the idea of what it’s like of course especially if you were that curious. I have a niece; she’s 14 and very aggressive about things, wanting to know a lot of crazy things that would make us crazy as well. She sometimes go out without her mother’s knowing and we would like call everybody asking where and what is happening to her. But we tend to adjust and understand since we know what it’s like..