Tough love for that difficult teenager

  • PublishedJanuary 24, 2019

Parenting has never been easy. Every stage of bringing up a child requires a different way of handling it. Bringing up a teenager is especially a tough ride. Adolescence is that stage in life where your child becomes defiant and wants to experiment different things. A teenager deserves to be allowed to work their way to independence, make and learn from their own mistakes, but at the same time preventing them from making serious mistakes is key. So how do you go about loving your teen in an effective manner?

Ensure clarity on what is expected of them.

Do not give your teen vague instructions and rules. Be clear on what you expect of them and the consequences if they do not follow the rules. You can have a list of the rules printed out so that they can refer to it anytime.

Be firm

When your teen breaks one of your rules, do not relent in the punishment that you were to give them. Do not change it because of pity. Standing by your word makes them know that they cannot bend your rules at will and fail to face the consequences.

Remain calm

Dealing with a teenager is exhausting. Sometimes you may just feel like yelling at them or fighting with them when they provoke you. However, stooping to their level will only make you seem helpless against their qualms and they may end up disrespecting you as a result. Be calm even though all you feel like doing is losing your temper. When you can’t stand it, walk out until you can regain control over your emotions. Calmness enables you to think clearly and make the right decision. This helps to avoid escalating the issue at hand.


Teenagers become difficult mostly when they have something bothering them. When they become difficult, let them know that they can talk to you. However, do not insist on it. Let them come to you when they are ready and always listen. Listen to their options first before offering yours. Make it easy for them to talk to you. Sometimes all they want is a listening ear. This will make it easy for them to trust you and the next time they have any issue bothering them, they will not hesitate to reach out to you.

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