If my daughter says, “Well, I thought” one more time, I swear I’m going to send her away to military school. When couples start a family, there are hidden secrets that other parents forget to tell. These secrets are the ones that every parent must learn on their own and the biggest secret of all is – your kids will push every button you have and come back for more. When my teen pushes my buttons, I keep my cool, take a deep breath and come right back at her until she understands that I am the parent and she is the child. But, teens will be teens, so parents can expect to fight the good fight more than once before a child becomes an adult.
Take a deep breath and pick the important parts of the situation out from the trivial parts. There will be fights, complaints, arguments and long talks between you and your teen. Teens have this idea that if they push hard enough, they will eventually get what they want. It is important for parents to stay on topic and never allow anger to take control of the situation. If you find yourself getting too angry, close your eyes and remember how the argument started. Return the focus of the argument back to that topic.
Don’t allow a word to hurt, which is exactly what your teen is trying to do. I remember coming home from a date with my husband one night and my eldest daughter asked to stay at a friend’s house. I said no and the troubles started. She quickly retorted, I wish you’d never come back. Wow, my heart sank to the floor and I immediately took that deep parent breath; ready to start yelling and then I stopped. She wanted to get at me so I would change my mind and I was not going to let her win the battle. I simply look at her and said, “Well, I did, too bad for you.”
Admit when you are wrong and stop the argument cold. If you come to a point in an argument with your teen when you realize you were wrong all along, stop and take credit for your mistake. We all make promises as parents that we later forget. If our children remember, which they always do, it is important to apologize and give them credit for reminding you of something you clearly forgot.
Don’t use your life stresses as a reason to give in. Parents have a stressful life. Financial problems, marital problems and problems with other children often weigh a parent down, but don’t give in. As soon as your teen sees an opening to take advantage of you, they will jump in and forage for all they can get.
Teens are going to push the limits of parental control, but that is how they learn to be the adults and parents they eventually become. When your teen pushes your buttons, take a step back, remember why you are arguing and never give in, unless you are wrong – then, apologize.
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