While parental authority is easier to establish in your son’s or daughter’s childhood but as soon as adolescence steps in, trouble can be anticipated. Parental authority depends on two main tiers; leadership power and the ability to direct your child into the right direction. Today it is not uncommon to see parents struggling to affect choices of your teens.
‘Give me a good reason’ and ‘I’ll do it later!’ – These phrases that often come out of the mouth of teens. Teens fight off parental authority and resist to be bound in limits just because they want to give their own independence a chance. Adamant to take everything in their own hands, they fight off any impositions by adults and refuse to entertain any compromises on their freedom.
Parental authority is most questioned when the child enters into the phase where they stick to the statement "My parents can't make me or stop me unless I agree." At this stage, parental authority is more opposed than ever before.
Behavior during the teen years
For teenagers, the years mean a hoard of different emotions which direct their behavior in a certain way. As maturity sets in, most of this goes away but before that, teens often become rebellious as they struggle to find their place in the world. They are caught between their childhood and adulthood and not being able to handle this change leads to rebellion. Teens often tend to stand out of the crowd by doing things that parents might not approve of like dressing in an odd way, wearing loud make-up or wearing their hair in a certain way. For teens, this is an attempt to find where their place or try to seek attention. Through all this, the fact remains that the more parents object to something, the more the teen will rebel.
In the process of fitting in, teens often mistake themselves of being an adult and enjoying the same kind of privileges but most of them are not able to reach that level of maturity that is expected of an adult. They tend to miss curfews, hang out with the wrong kind of company or being over emotional. This might drive the parent right to the edge but being strict with your teen is just going to make matters worse as they are going to react with an even more rebellious behavior.
Directly criticizing their friends is not going to take you anywhere. Instead, it is going to build a wall between you and your teen and they will see you as a threat to their relationship with their friends. It is better to talk about situations in which your child may have landed because of their friends. If the teen reacts outrageously or becomes angry, listen to them calmly. Lilliputian as they seem to you, these issues are of grave importance to them.
One of the best ways to maintain and solidify teenager’s relationship with parents is to keep expectations on a very realistic level. At this point of your child’s life, trouble is unavoidable. Setting your standards too high is going to disappoint you even when the teen is trying their hardest to behave the way you approve of.
Another way the teen can realize what the consequences of their behavior can be is to be consistent in your punishments and rewards. For instance, punishing the teen every time they miss a curfew is eventually going to make them stop while rewarding them for some kind of behavior is going to encourage them towards a more positive attitude.
Abnormal as it seems to a parent, a teen being selfish, defiant and demanding is just a facet of these years. Consistency in this behavior is a reason to be concerned. When this happens, the parent can seek the help of a psychologist or a counselor instead of handling the situation themselves.
It is not unusual to see teenagers rebelling against parental authority but parents do need to understand that it is not a difficult time for them only but the teen is suffering too. Their inflexible attitude and their inability to understand might make the situation even more badly than it is for the teen as well as the parents.