When your teen is shouting and stomping, you'll try just about anything to get them to stop. But forget about all those fancy programs. If your teen is the average child without any mental or physical conditions, get back to basics. These simple, yet creative methods work time and again when my teen gets a little cranky.
Find your teen a hobby or let them work. Sometimes a cranky teen is simply a bored teen. Give them something to do. This could be something simple like walking the dog daily. They also may want to volunteer at a local animal shelter. My teen daughter visits so much, she is going to apply for an official position this summer. Sports and local community classes are another way to take up that time and release pent up energies. Department stores, restaurants, and many other establishments often have positions teens can apply for.
Spend more time together. You may think they want you to completely disappear. But the truth is, your teen still loves you and wants your attention. Take time out as often as possible to spend with your teen. It doesn't matter so much what you do, as long as you are spending time together. My teen likes me to go with her to the animals shelter. We also might take walks or have a mother and daughter day. If you have other kids, like I do, try rotating time with each one and spending time with all together.
Give teens room to breathe. This may seem to contradict the idea of spending time together. But in order to be happy and balanced, your teen needs both. Let your teen be independent if he's feeling especially moody. The teenage years can come with pent up frustration for many reasons. Friends, hormones, and just life in general could be stressing your teen out. Let him be alone to think before rushing to ask questions. Sometimes too much prodding can cause even more pressure, especially if your teen is facing a difficult issue or decision.
Just listen. If you want your teen to be able to chill the attitude and open up to you, be quiet. I know firsthand that it can be hard not to ask what's going on or analyze the situation. But sometimes us parents just need to keep our lips sealed. The silence can help calm your teen down and make her feel comfortable enough to open up. When she starts talking, don't offer advice right away. Just listen until she is done. Her attitude may be in part due to the fact that she feels no one is listening to her. If you are always offering advice, you could be adding to those insecure thoughts.
Laugh often. I know, I know. This is so simple. It sounds like it is easier said than done. But trust me, when there is constant laughter, your teen will have an easier time ditching the attitude to the curb. I'm not saying don't take problems seriously. But learn to laugh at mistakes and learn from them. Tell jokes all the time, even if they are corny. Laughter helps relieve stress in both teens and adults and can be very helpful in ditching an attitude problem. It's pretty hard not to laugh when everyone else in the room is doing it. Try it. You'll see what I mean.
Keep in mind that there can be serious reasons behind your teen's attitude. So, don't ignore those signs, even if they are faint. Also, be sure your teen has regular visits to the appropriate health professionals.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Is your tween constantly trying to boss around younger siblings, even at times questioning your own methods? Kids between the ages of 8 and 12 are going through huge transitions and this is a very possible scenario in households with more than one child. When my tween has moments like this, I stop and think what could be the root of the problem. One important point to remember is that most kids will test parents in this way at least once. It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong. Like any other issue that arises, it gives you a chance to reevaluate things and change them as necessary.
Your tween wants to be like you. It's possible that your tween is bossing the younger kids around because you've been a great example. She may look up to you and simply be mimicking your own behavior. This can be a sign that you have been a good example that she wants to follow. At this age, the parent should still be supervising, but the tween can be given some extra responsibilities. Allow your tween to facilitate activities and look out for the welfare of her brothers and sisters. But do not allow her to discipline them.
Your tween has too much responsibility. Having extra responsibility can sometimes be a good thing, as it prepares tweens for babysitting in the future and just life in general. But it also can be a bad thing if your tween is overstepping your boundaries. It's perfectly fine to allow your tween some growing room. But don't let him take it so far that he believes his siblings have to listen to his every word. If you catch your tween trying to boss around brothers and sisters in matters where he shouldn't be, you need to act immediately to rectify it early.
Your tween knows she is older. Trying to take charge can just be a natural instinct as a child grows older. It is particularly present in tweens with younger siblings. This is just the natural order of things. If the manner in which your tween outranks siblings is not significant, there is probably no need for concern. It can actually be good for kids to have an extra reminder for simple things. But if you see your tween take advantage, explain to her when it is and is not appropriate to correct siblings.
She's practicing for the future. Your tween may have natural parental instincts and is acting them out on siblings. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as it isn't hurting anyone or overstepping boundaries. This is how kids learn to be good parents when they grow up. Use this as an opportunity to teach your tween about proper parenting techniques, within reason. Helping with dinner, reading to the younger kids, helping feed the baby, preventing fellow siblings from arguing, and similar activities are great ways for your tween to participate. Just be sure she knows that certain decisions are still up to you.
Take a look at your own habits. Many times, it will just be a natural part of growing up. But sometimes tweens will act this way because of the behavior of the parents. If you let your tween take over one too many times, she will start acting like she's the parent. Instinct takes over and it can be hard to break this habit once it starts. Ideally, you can catch it before it gets out of hand. Otherwise, it will take some work to let your tween know what her true responsibilities are and are not.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
By supporting us, you support a single parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to and/or stands for several causes, including homeless pets, homeless people, trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature goes toward worthy causes.
For guidance in the world of freelance writing or for advice on her specialty topics, Ask Lyn.