How to stop great kids from becoming rotten teens?(18 Posts)
I've got three kids on the cusp on teenagerhood and they're all great kids. But I'm hearing so many people on the forums here saying that they had great kids too, and now all they want is their great kids back, because they've got grumpy, sullen, miserable teens.
So how do I stop this? At the moment, they all three do housework and help out around the house, do their homework, and are polite and well-mannered. How do I keep them this way? Is there something I"m missing that turns great kids into rotten teens (apart from hormones) and what can I do to help keep my kids as great people? Or is this just a phase they all go through?
What do people think, especially the mums whose kids were awesome until recently becoming teens, or mums whose teens were horrible and are now back to being great people again?
I don't think you should be worried. Teenagers can be great. Keep talking to them. When you put down rules explain why. Ask their opinions and respect them. Tell them that they are great and give them loads of reassurance.
Maybe the issue people have with teenagers is they are still judging them according to the 10yo they were rather than seeing them as a different breed entirely (which they are).
Don't forget on here people post their worries about their kids not the great things mostly
I don't think DD is a horrible teenager. She has her moments, but often it is outside stresses - homework, friendship issues, relationship issues, bullying, low self confidence, mental health issues, social media that causes the problems. Some of these things you have no control over.
I volunteer with teenagers struggling at school and the main thing I can say is that they have grown up too fast, either due to family situations or from outside influence.
Kids need to take their time in transitioning from childhood to adolescence. Some days the kids I meet seem young for their age, others they show anger, disillusionment and a lack of empathy that would surprise you. It's all to be expected.
The crisis age seems to be about 11, especially for boys. If you can steer them in a positive direction through activities and friendship groups, an engagement with sports, music, books or a favourite subject you're onto a good thing.
As a parent, an awareness of their fragility and an appreciation of how far they have come are both fundamental.
It might help not to regard every grumpy, sullen, miserable teenager as a rotten teen.
When my DM went through the menopause she was pretty grumpy and miserable. Did that make her into a rotten person? Is somebody with the baby blues/PND a rotten person? Why do we judge teenagers so harshly for things that we expect sympathy and understanding for when they happen to ourselves?
My dd suffered from depression and anxiety during her teen years. She was not always able to be upbeat and jolly. That did not make her a rotten teen. She had to keep to certain standards of behaviour, as does everyone else in our house- but she had as much right to her feelings as her mother or grandmother.
DS aged 14.5 was moody and grumpy and vile this morning, getting him up and out for school was hard, but he hugged me just before he left and he was a total happy delight this afternoon. Made me a cup of tea, was so delighted with the new pack pf Penguin biscuits, emptied the dishwasher, played Fifa with younger bro, now doing homework after a good chat about kids at school being mean, taking banter too far sometimes.
Now I have a teen I see how judgey-judgey people can be about teenagers, but like us in all our stages of life, there is good and bad, and lots of love, support and understanding goes a very long way. A 15 year old girl in his year lives across the road, she looks like she could kill you with her normal face, walks like she's furious, but she's so lovely, adored where she helps out at Rainbows and does riding for the disabled.
I'd say they are not one thing or the other, the hard bits are amplified that's all. Their bodies are changing so much, they are doing GCSE's, boyfriend/girlfriend stuff on the horizon, what do they want to be in life?, the are more aware of the world - all big stuff. The need to be moody and they need to be left well alone sometimes, they are nuts about stuff we just don't get, they freak out about stuff, but they also need a great bug hug and kiss and told they are doing bloody great too.
12yo is the very best age ime.
14yo is probably about the second worst age (I rate 6yos as the worst).
I don't know if there's a way to prevent conflict... isn't it good that we want to see them leave home & we know they can stand their ground in an argument?. I have friends whose kids didn't go thru a bolshy unpleasant phase but... they raise their kids in ways I never could. it would be like asking me to raise a lamb on catfood. I can't do it anyway.
Keep cheerful and friendly.
Ignore any sulks and tantrums but be sensitive to why they may be having them.
Don't nit pick.
Don't make personal and unnecessary comments.
Respect their need for privacy.
Know who their friends are.
Be a parent. Don't try to be cool.
They will soon be leaving home and you will miss the..
I'm quite lucky with my ds I think, he's 13, will be 14 in march and has always been a lovely kid.
He has nice friends at school and had his parents evening last week where all I heard was how lovely he is etc.
I had purposely asked his dad to go too ( we're not together ) as he is quite critical of ds, always picking faults but to be honest only sees him once a week- his choice.
He was shocked at the comments, I wasn't at all, maybe he gets ds when hes tired after a long week in school and doesn't always see the good in him, who knows?
Dd on the other hand- I dread it.
She's 5 nearly 6 and a delight at school, never been on time out etc but seems to save it all up for home.
I know she will be a nightmare teen!
Ultimately op you can only do so much, your dc will make choices that are wrong, right and you need to just be there to support them.
Moods are inevitable, ds started puberty early at 10, he's like a man.
A stable family life IMO is very important as are rules and routine.
I'm pretty relaxed in some aspects of parenting but super strict when it comes to bed times for example.
You will find your way and your dc will no doubt respect that as mine has, he doesn't always agree with me but knows the boundaries.
One negative i am finding hard is the swearing though and that's hard to write, he goes on Xbox one with his friends and they all talk to each other whilst playing and I've heard a few choice words and have had to remove his gadgets a few times after failing to ignore the warning.
And then it's the end of the world
Trust them and let them make their own decisions. Advise but say well you know how you feel, so you decide.
A lot of the aggro is about them wanting more freedom independence than you are offering.
I point out to mine that it's getting late, will they be OK to get up in morning, rather than telling them to go to bed etc.
They will make mistakes, you will help them, and they will learn.
And the swearing- I remind them I don't want to hear it so close door/swear quieter!
Hobbies. Lots of exhausting ones
Seriously though it's about remaining present and commited to them even when they start to reject you and get cheeky.
I remember being really sad when dd was about 12 and told me to stop singing in the car, something we have always enjoyed.
I told my friend who has had a teen dd and she laughed and said "sing louder" I kept my sense of humour and now we sing in the car.
Dd was rude entitled and very lazy between 13 and 14 but now is nearly 15 and a Ioveky girl (still lazy though)
I don't think there is anything special you can do, it can be a tough 5 years and I often had to remember it was their hormones.
DD1 was a lovely mild mannered child who helped around the house, when her hormones hit she just became moody, spent a lot of time in her room, so we just gave her space.
DD2 was a nightmare child for whom no was her favourite word, if she didn't want to do something she wouldn't, her teenage years have just been more of the same.
Not all kids become awful teenagers! Mine aren't.
DS (17) was truly an awful baby and toddler. Tantrums in Tesco. Just one long battle. At 3, he morphed into a gentle, quiet and polite soul and that honestly hasn't changed. No teenage drama. Not over interested in going out and partying. Wants to do well at school and get a good degree.
DD (15) was much worse at pre-teen, when the hormones were kicking in. Quite a few tears of frustration and angst, but nothing that some space and understanding didn't help. Again, she's just lovely now.
However, both of my DC are lucky to have had an extremely stable (probably very middle class) upbringing, with boundaries (gently but firmly enforced) and routine. Their schooling has been at great schools and their friends are all sensible sorts. We are parents have invested a lot in them. So they are at an advantage really.
I worried the same as you. Turns out I didn't need to.
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