Advice how to manage 16 year old please(7 Posts)
Bit of background:
We chose to manage our children using 'magic 1,2,3's'. This worked well for us - as parents and the children - they appeared to see it as a fair system and knew where they stood. I recognise some people feel this is rather strict but this is what suited us as a family.
Now our eldest is 16yrs it was agreed this was inappropriate - that discussions and ensuring we listened to his opinion and reaching compromises was the route to go.
Hahaha I hear you all laughing - this works for decisions regarding going out, money etc but we're struggling as parents when it comes to the silly little things....
example - when he is behaving inappropriately at the table or refusing to use the bathroom (so others can shower, to go to bed, to be able to get up for work etc in the morning) we are floundering as to what to use for sanctions. DH ended up shouting at mealtime today which is very very unusual – all due to DS refusing to change the way he was eating.
What sanctions do you use that are fair and effective? – we keep thinking of things that actually would make matters worse – refusing to give lifts to sportclubs means we’d have an even grouchier teenager and more scope for him to press our buttons at home, when the exercise releases some of his teen angst.
Pick your battles. Which means maybe not worrying about how he eats or when he uses the bathroom. If these are the worst examples of behaviour then you are doing really well.
You need to let him be a teenager - stroppy , a bit cheeky , opinionated etc. this is normal teen behaviour.
Sanctions don't work all they do is make them feel hatred towards you.
Pick your battles.
Read - get out my life but first take me and Alex to town. It will help you understand why they behave the way they do and how to deal with it. It's not just pushing boundaries.
Please be more laid back with him. If you continue to battle them about every error you may get a teen that does as you wish but you are jeopardising a good long term relationship.
He shouted at him because of the way he was eating . Really a bit more tolerance is the way forward not sanctions for table manners.
I went to a parenting class that advocated removing phone immediately for 15 minutes (only works if uses phone a lot though). Failure to hand over means additional 15 minutes. If the 15 minutes means going over leaving for school time, then they don't get to take it to school.
Thanks everyone for their comments.
On reading them it makes our home sound like bootcamp - eeeek!
Generally we are relaxed - everyday he displays very toddler like behaviours then the next minute he's Mr sensible - so a lot is ignored/tolerated - I just think last night was a last straw for DH.
What I didn't mention was that he is very mildly on the spectrum - so if something like eating behaviours isn't pointed out he would always eat inappropriately - and I don't think its fair for him to at least have been informed that his behaviours may distress others in public. It was a poor example of when we'd want to 'withdraw privileges'.
Also is it not fair to at least let his younger brother see that we' re not condoning certain things?
This morning we sat and had a chat - apologies were shared and we asked his opinion on what we could do to make things a little more pleasant for all concerned. He came up with the phone idea too, TeenandTween!
I shall be biting my tongue from now, reading that book (thank heyho111) and remembering to breathe!!
We have evolved a vague system of 'natural consequences'. Sanctions are few and far between but unpleasant behaviour results in parents, usually me being less likely to dish out money or lifts, wash a special t-shirt/whatever if it hasn't been in the washing basket. Not as a punishment but because I don't feel kindly disposed as a result of x behaviour. Punishments don't teach anything IMO - they serve to demonstrate control over the recipient being punished.
Having said that I sometimes give up with little irritations. Some people describe this as picking your battles I suppose. I can't really imagine 'punishing' my 15YO DS now. He mumbles and can be grumpy but he doesn't really display challenging behaviour, just low-grade irritating things like taking a pile of four t-towels out of the drawer to dry his hands on and getting them all damp, then putting two of them back in the drawer.
Compared to other families I know my teens have been quietly stubborn and will not be advised and I marvel at how they manage to insist that their teens do x hours of study etc. But after deciding not to battle with my DD when she was 15 and often having a horrible atmosphere, we rarely have shouting, door-slamming moods etc. (actually that stopped when DD was 15) And my DD does tell me (edited stuff) sometimes about her friends having problems that they haven't told their parents. DD has friends who couldn't wait to leave home for uni and have hardly been in touch with their parents since leaving. One friend has come out as gay to her peers but not to her lovely, but very strict parents. She is now very busy at uni rebelling.
With things like eating I'd ignore as far as possible then just say as quietly and calmly that it's unacceptable. Explain why briefly if need be.
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