10 Teenage Behaviors That Confuse Parents

Teenage years are generally regarded as stormy and difficult in part with patches of fun and laughter… which adds up to some confusion on my part.  In fact, I think I can narrow it down to 10 Teenage Behaviors That Confuse Parents. 

A big part of the problem parents experience is the demands placed on them by their teenagers. Some adolescents work out what riles mom and dad and then use this to their advantage.

Teens may use one or two or even more of these strategies when trying to get their own way with their parents. Being aware of them can give parents an advantage when handling difficult situations. 

10 Teenage Behaviors That Tend to Upset Parents: 

* Confusion is a common tool used by teens. They turn every argument into a long drawn out affair and throw in questions that turn the conversation in a new direction.

* Similar to confusion, the art of deflection can turn teenagers into young lawyers. Questions are met with questions and the real issue is tip-toed around. A discussion about why a teen’s bedroom is in disarray may end up being an argument about the price of onions.

* Distraction is another favorite tool. A phone call, knock at the door or a sudden mention of homework that needs to be done have all helped teens escape the wrath of their parents.

* Parents are afraid of many things and teens normally know exactly how to upset them. Threats of leaving home, going binge drinking, moving in with a girlfriend or dropping out of school can all be used as leverage to get what they want.

* Guilt is another weakness that teens often sense in their parents. The guilt may be overworking long hours, not having enough money to provide what the teen wants or over having a broken marriage. Unscrupulous teens may exploit this by pointing out the problem and making their parents feel bad.

* Exhaustion is used by teenagers on a regular basis. All they do is ask for the same thing repeatedly, day after day, hour after hour. The average parent will eve*ntually buckle and agree to what they want.

* Teens are bargainers and have a number of strategies that involve bargaining. These include asking a favor when a friend is present and offering to do some minor chore in exchange for a big request.

* If all else fails, a teenager may resort to emotion. Sob stories and tears about parties that “everyone” is going to or an item of clothing that ‘everyone’ has can be very effective.

* Some teens have learned to start high. They ask for something outrageous and argue about it for days – only to settle on a compromise and get what they were originally aiming at anyway.

What can you do? 

* Love your teenager and talk to them. 

* Respect them and expect respect in return.  Resist yelling and absolutely resist judgment.  These things will help you connect with your child.    

* Enjoy good times with your teens – and understanding some of the strategies teens use can be helpful when decisions need to be made and boundaries set in place.

*Remember what it was like to BE a teenager.  

*  Tell them stories of when you were their age.  

* Love them.   Remember that teenage boys & girls are dealing with a lot right now.  It’s a hard time to grow up as a teenager.  Be there for them. 

* Talk with other parents on our Facebook Page 

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