Parenting is fun, but it brings its fair share of challenges. The sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, and early childhood education appear like the most daunting parts of the journey. But wait until your kid steps into the teens because your world may turn upside down. The first time is often intimidating as you hardly know how to handle a rebellious teenager. Everything you do seems to fail, and the stress compounds if the kid is impossible to deal with. But you can maintain your sanity and get through these years with the right mindset. Here are some practical tips to stay sane while raising a rebellious teen.
Pick your battles wisely
Teens likely rebel over several things, from their meal choices to driving, curfews, studies, and relationships. But taking a stand against everything is not worthwhile as you may end up souring your relationship with your child. The family environment may become negative, and other kids suffer. It is better to pick your battles wisely and choose issues that really matter. Let the teen make mistakes and learn from them, but be there to support them when they need it.
Communication is the key to maintaining healthy family dynamics, specifically when you have a defiant teen on board. You may want to leave the kid alone when things turn bad with them. Conversely, teens are happy to avoid conversations. But a communication gap may lead to dire problems down the line. Create a comfort level with the child to communicate effectively. Discuss the day over the dinner table, and encourage your teen to talk by validating availability and openness.
Embrace a daily self-care routine
Besides working on your interactions with the kid, you must embrace a daily self-care routine to stay sane. Meditation in the morning sets your mood and energy levels to deal with the rigours of the day. You can integrate cannabis into your bedtime ritual to release stress and fatigue. The good thing is that you can buy cannabis online since it is legal in Canada. Cannabis also helps you sleep better, no matter how bad the stress gets. You can start the new day on a positive note and rework the issues with your kid.
Reward good behaviour
Remember that the defiant teen is the baby you raised, and the phase is only a passing one. Avoid focusing only on the negative aspects, and reward good behaviour with encouragement and appreciation. Every child needs affirmation, so do not miss out on the opportunities as they come. Whether the kid scores well in an exam, passes a driving test, or volunteers for a good cause, show your pride because it matters more than gifts and rewards.
Make your family fun
Dealing with a rebellious teen gets much easier if you make your family fun, as it helps everyone to stay happy and connected. Fun activities like travelling and watching movies as a clan let you spend quality time together and improve family bonding. Most importantly, they eliminate the tension after a tight situation and keep everyone sane. Your teen is more likely to open up during such happy moments, so plan them more often.
Raising a teen can drive you to the edge, but it need not hurt your sanity in the long run. Commit to making some rules for yourself and the kid, and life will be a lot smoother.
Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.