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So What Happens Next After Your Teen Has Upped The Ante?

So What Happens Next After Your Teen Has Upped The Ante?

The limit testers, the ones who will always find out how far they can display a certain behavior and get away with it. The ones who always seem to be thinking two or three steps ahead of you.

So what happens when you tell junior he's grounded, and he grins at you and walks out the house anyway? What happens when your daughter lights up a cigarette in front of you? The truth of the matter is that as outrageous as these behaviors may seem, they are well calculated. It's been a long time leading up to this, and now your teen has taken his next big step.

Take this story for an example, there was once a mother with such high anxiety, that she always would find herself avoiding even the most mild of conflicts. Such was her predicament that one Saturday morning, she sat in her living room and watched her two sons beat their friend into a concussion. She later told the police that she had asked them to "stop". Now this is one of those rare situations were a mother is delighted to have child protective services take her kids from her.

The truth is when your teen has upped the ante with an unacceptable behavior, they have assessed a long time ago that there is little if anything you will do as a parent in response to the behavior. Needless to say that there has been a series of less severe behaviors they have gotten away with over the years.

So what do you do after your teen has upped the ante? Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that there are a lot of strategies you can use to address your teenager's unacceptable behaviors. The bad news is that your life as you know it will never be the same again. However this can also be a good thing, depending on how you perceive the situation. Think about it, whether you are a married, partnered or single, what happened to your lifestyle after you found out that you were about to become a parent for the first time?

If your lifestyle did a one-eighty, it should have. If your life remained the same, it means that you have not being very involved in the lives of your child or children.

Regardless, this is the same attitude that should be taken if dealing with a teen who has upped the ante. It is time for you to change the rules and subsequently your lifestyle. Take for example;

  • Junior's watching too much television, and doing little homework? Cut off all cable or satellite services. This means that you too will not be watching any television either.

  • Isolating in his or her room? Take out the door. You may have to take out other doors in the house as well. (Except the bathroom).

  • Leaves the house without permission, follow them, and if needed call the police.

  • Smoking or drinking? Do you smoke or drink? The law is already on your side on this one, it's easier that you think to track down who supplies them with alcohol or cigarettes. Unintentionally it might be you. If you smoke or drink to begin with- you guessed right, quit.

The bottom line is that it's time for you to get re-engaged on a more personal level with your teen. Regardless of the specifics of your strategy, getting re-engaged means that you will be making unacceptable behaviors more difficult to sustain and acceptable behaviors easier to display and sustain. This will call for an over haul of your personal lifestyle, but it's worth it.

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