Are you dealing with adolescent problems on a daily basis in your home? Are you blaming yourself? Or maybe blaming your teen? Perhaps you’re even feeling hurt by the bad behavior, saying things like, “How could you hurt us like this?”
Parents often get stuck in the blame game when it comes to the difficulties they are having with their kids. Blaming or even getting caught up in feelings of hurt or anger will not get you or your teenager out of the situation with a successful outcome. More likely than not you will just end up in a power struggle that goes no where.
Taking a Step Back from The Situation
In order to resolve the issues, you need to take a step back and focus on how you can make your teen responsible for their own behavior. Bailing kids out of tough circumstances only bypasses the effect that natural consequences can provide. Often times parents get so attached to the situation especially when blaming themselves that they take on the problem and do whatever they can to fix it.
Not allowing your teenager to suffer appropriate natural consequences only prolongs the pain and suffering. If they never pay the price for their own behavior, they will never learn from their own mistakes. This only allows them to continue on this destructive path even longer, adding more issues to the mix.
Being a parent myself, I totally understand how difficult it can be to see our children suffer. When they are little it’s our responsibility to prevent them from harm as much as possible. But even for young kids, we have to find ways for them to learn from their mistakes and suffer the pain of age appropriate consequences.
Teenagers Need to Learn from Natural Consequences
If your little child had never touched a hot stove at sometime in childhood, they would have never understood the concept of don’t touch, it’s hot. Our responsibility lies in making sure the stove isn’t too hot to cause burns but hot enough that the lesson gets learned.
And no matter how silly this might sound, this same concept is true for the lessons your now older kids are being faced with daily. These actually are equivalent to young kids learning about the meaning of hot. However, as parents we must begin to back off when it comes to the amount of protection that we provide.
At this stage our responsibility lies with making sure they learn ways to cope with the reality of life. It’s important for them to suffer the wider consequences that society at large provides gradually as they grow up. Their lessons can no longer just be learned through the protection we provide or the limits that we control.
Kids who haven’t learned how to accept responsibility for smaller actions as younger kids won’t acquire the abilities they will need later to face the consequences for inappropriate behavior out in the bigger world. You must remain tough and allow these natural consequences to occur long before they become major and totally out of your control.
Keep in Mind…
Remember, a small cry and an ouchy is a much better lesson to learn than a permanent scar that will last a lifetime. So, allow your teen to suffer these smaller less damaging consequences due to their own mistakes right now and gradually throughout their teen years instead of the big ones later that can end up destroying their life.