Power Struggle of Single Dads with Teenage Sons: A Man to Man Issue
Parenting is a challenging task , even more so if done alone. This situation becomes even tougher if your relationship with your teenager suffers from communication glitches so extreme that its daggers drawn most of the time between the two of you. While single mothers face their own fair share of teen trouble, a father son power struggle can easily get out of hand if not resolved wisely and maturely.
Teenage boys who till a few years back saw the world perfectly fine sitting on their dads shoulders fail to see eye to eye now and how they can. Why does this happen?
Although teen years are hard for both the kid as well as the father, the concept of teen power struggles have become a frequent predicament due to the kind of social messages we allow our kids to receive. Today society glorifies power. Most TV shows, movies and literature show teens that power and strength will get them what they want. This type of mentality makes teens not just overly aggressive but quite anti-social. This is why today’s teens find it hard to build lasting relationships. A teens constantly throwing tantrums, using excessive force, lying etc. are all signs that he has not learnt how to resolve problems amicably and is therefore in constant trouble at home and in school. As a single dad it is vital that you know how to handle power struggles with children, defuse the tension and teach them the crucial lesson of “Getting Along!”
Refuse to Engage
Every time a situation arises where your teen son is acting up and trying to push against your authority, you need to step back and relax. Remember that each time you engage in an argument or fight over anything, you give your kid more power and control over you. Use the “avoidance” technique and show them that challenging your authority is not an option.
Replace Ultimatums with Choices
Teenage boys are the last people you should give ultimatums to. It’s a rebellious age and defying authority is considered self expression at this age. So as a single dad make your life easy by giving your teen a say in problem situations, and put before him choices rather than ultimatums.
Set Them Free
Another good way of defusing the tension and avoiding this power struggle would be to give your teen son the freedom to make his decisions but then hold him responsible for the consequences of whatever decisions he's made. This will not also make him feel in control of his own destiny but also make you seem less like a slave driver and more like an ally.