Avoid “Hint Dropping”: Clear Expectations to Improve Communication with Your Troubled Te
Once your child reaches the teenage years, it may seem like you need a whole new set of rules and parenting tricks in order to keep him heading in the right direction. While many teens are developing the skills they need to adjust and negotiate the adult world, it can be easy to forget that the best way to deal with him is to do what has always worked best; be consistent and make sure he knows what is expected of him.
The adolescent years are full of experimentation and a shift toward independence, which is why teens get their own unique classification somewhere between children and adults. While many parents get frustrated that their son is becoming manipulative and cheeky, they don’t understand that what he is doing is actually a reflection of the way he explored the world as a toddler. While there are things he knows now that he didn’t then, such as manners and social norms, it may help to understand that he is once again testing out the world around him and seeing what will give in relation to how he pushes. While it is frustrating to deal with, teen defiance is fairly par for the course for the adolescent years. Knowing how to deal with him can make both of your lives easier.
You have likely learned by now that being subtle rarely works with your teen. While you may assume that dropping hints is a good reminder to your son to take some sort of responsibility for his life and daily schedule, it can actually have the opposite effect as he begins to rely on you to tell him everything. The best way to communicate with your teen is to make sure that you give him clear instructions about what you expect from him as well as the consequences that will result if he breaks the rules.
Your teen may not act like it, but he will ultimately be more comfortable if his world is predictable and consistent. Some parents have found that it is helpful to sit down with their son and discuss the household rules, while giving him some amount of say in the process. This is an effective way to acknowledge his growing independence, while also giving him the structure that he still needs.
Consistency Is The Key
Like a toddler, your teen will test your resolve as many times as it takes for him to understand that you will not change your mind or be manipulated based on circumstance. Allow him to talk and feel heard, but in the end, it is important for you to remain consistent and remind him that he is well aware of what is expected of him. Making sure that your teen adheres to realistic goals and expectations is one of the most valuable lessons you can teach him to prepare for adulthood. He will take his cues from you on how to behave and interact, so being direct and mature can ultimately have a very positive impact.