Most parents are surprised to discover their teen’s bad behaviour can bring about some of the hardest discipline struggles they have to face. Teens are prone to arguing, sulking, rebelling, and lying when they misbehave.
Parents can be left wondering what they did wrong and why they cannot get their teen to behave. Over the years a number of myths have evolved that some parents believe is the source of their teen’s bad behaviour.
1. You need to reason with your teenager to get them to behave.
Reasoning is not very effective in teenagers because they are going through a host of physical and mental changes. Even adults can be difficult to reason with at times. For instance, you know you should try to exercise more and eat less fast food. Yet doing what you know you should do or someone else trying to persuade you, is difficult at any age.
2. Harsher punishments will help get rid of the unwanted behaviours.
Some parents believe they change how their teen behaves by letting them know there are consequences for their bad behaviours. Punishments could actually cause them to become more rebellious, secretive, and even withdraw from family time.
3. Your teenager is behaving badly on purpose.
You may be shocked to learn your teen has limited control over the changes occurring in their body. It is these changes that can make undesired behaviours more frequent. Just remember some teenagers may struggle more than others as they go through adolescence.
Why Do I Feel Like a Bad Parent?
It can be exhausting trying to get your teen to behave. You could even start to feel like you have lost all control over your teen. You might also start to feel like you are a bad parent because you are not able to get through to your teen.
However part of the reason for their behaviour, has nothing to do with how you have raised them. One explanation for these unwanted behaviours stems from a lack of emotional immaturity, while still demanding more independence.
The part of the brain that allows us to make informed decisions, reason outcomes, and control impulses is not yet fully developed in teens. The combination of increased independence, along with emotional immaturity often results in teens making decisions impulsively and hastily.
How Can I Get My Teen to Behave?
It is important to remember there is not one solution that will work for every parent. Every teenager is different. What works for one parent does not always work for another parent. It is best to try a combination of different things to see what actually works with your teen.
It can be equally beneficial to speak to a qualified counsellor to explore what solutions could help improve your relationship with your teen. You can openly speak your mind, including your frustrations with your teen, in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.