"You’re so annoying!"
"No one in my class has limits on screen time, they can just use their phone whenever they want!"
"You’re the most annoying parents ever!"
"Get out of my room!"
Does that sound familiar to you? Teenagers who don’t care for your values, for your teachings and sermons, for your roaring words and phrases that you repeat a thousand times, for your explanations and your rules. In adolescence, even the most diligent and conscientious child starts rebelling against their parents.
Such behavior is normal during adolescence. Adolescents have their own developmental task, as they do in all other developmental stages. At that time, their task is to separate from their parents, become independent and find out who they are and what they want. They test boundaries, want to decide for themselves, explore their identity and sexuality etc. It is a difficult and demanding process for both the adolescent and the parent. A positive outcome of a teenager's developmental task will result in a solid identity, while a negative outcome will mean identity confusion. On the other hand, parents between the ages of 30 and 60 also have their own developmental task, which is to be creative and successful in a career of choice. The positive outcome of the parent's developmental task is the creative parent and the negative outcome is the stagnant parent.
These developmentally conditioned behaviors, however, do not mean that the love between the adolescent and the parent is any less. The stronger the parent-child bond, the more resistance and rebellion the adolescent will have to put into the relationship to become independent of the parent. At the same time, parents will have to invent more creative approaches to endure and support that independence.
In adolescence, teenagers still need boundaries and structure. In order to give them assertively and at the right time, you as parents, must also be "in good shape".
Some recommendations for easier parenting in adolescence:
Create your own "tempogram" - a cake chart of your day, balancing the following activities: rest (being alone), work and study, social connections, relaxing or hobbies, rituals, family time.
Be aware that you have no control over your child’s behavior, but you can control how you behave and react
Make sure you take care of your personal needs
Be consistent with your boundaries and structure
Recognize and acknowledge emotions and needs (your own and those of adolescents)
Start loosening boundaries gradually
Balance your own use of screens for entertainment
Try to avoid:
Repeating requests and orders
Negotiating with a child when they try to avoid responsibility
Forcing the child to do homework and chores
Sitting next to a child while learning
Over-interpreting and advocating your decisions and actions
Quarreling over the same things, day after day
Clichés such as:
It doesn't matter what others think of you.
Doesn't matter how you look on outside it's what you're on inside that matters
This is the most beautiful period of your life.
When I was your age…
What do you know about life? Trust and obey your parents.
Remember that after adolescence comes the stage of early adulthood. The developmental task of this stage is to develop intimate and close interpersonal relationships. At that time, teenagers will most likely reconnect with their parents and go back to being closer to them.