Raychelle Cassada Lohmann Ph.D.

Teen Angst

Survival Tips for Raising a Teen

Is your teen driving you insane?

Posted Dec 28, 2010

Is your house more of a battlefield than a home? Is your teen driving you insane?  If so, then let's set the record straight.

1. You know very little if anything at all.
2. You could never understand how they feel.  See link at the end for a humorous music video from the past "Parents Just Don't Understand."
3. Your rules are stupid and are meant to be broken.
4. When you speak they hear the teacher from Charlie Brown talking.  "Wah, wah, Wah, wah, Wah."

5. You have a very weird concept of time. For example, you say "NOW!" they say "in a minute..." and you flip!
6. You blow things entirely out of proportion.
7. You serve a few good purposes. Money, Transportation and Food.
8. Their friend's parents are way cooler than you because they let their kids do whatever they want. Why can't you be more like them?

Even though you want to strangle them at times your teen is actually quite normal if they have any of the thoughts above. Teens are notorious for testing and pushing you beyond your limits and they know how to activate all of your buttons in a single push. They are well equipped to drive you over the deep end. So, what can you do to survive your teen's adolescent years? 

1. Don't pull your hair out. Go ahead and brace yourself your teen is going to push you to your limits and being prepared will help you handle each situation as you face it.
2. Just as in infancy adolescence is marked by rapid growth and changes and once you think you have it figured out they change up the game plan. So, you have to change your role to 'Coach'. You are beginning to step to the sidelines as they get older. Good Coaches develop relationships with their players which is built on expectations and respect. Start viewing yourself as your teen's life coach.
3. When your teen takes you from 0 to 10 in a nanosecond, take a time out. Don't deal with them when you're angry. It's best to get them out of your sight until you can calmly and rationally handle the situation.  Otherwise, you may BLOW like Mount St. Helens.
4. Hide your wallet! Just kidding. But it is important to teach your teen the value of a dollar and how to save and use their money wisely.

5. Have "Chat Time". Communication is one of the best ways to develop a great relationship with your teen. As a counselor of adolescents, I can't begin to tell you how frequently I hear "But my parents never listen to me..."
6. Perceive the adolescent stage as the perfect storm and stock up on the following supplies: Patience, Love, Endurance and Perseverance - You're going to need them.

Adolescence is a unique and challenging period marked by rapid physical and psychological growth. They struggle to find who they are and want to practice adult roles; ok they try to be the adult. If you envision having a wild animal by the reins well that's your teen. But you've got to keep a hold on the reins no matter how hard they buck, pull and resist you. This is the stage that you guide and coach them into adulthood. No matter what clever little tactic they use never let go of the reins. When you get ready to launch them into adulthood you can watch them soar with all of the skills you've equipped them with.

Here's a great link from New Mexico State University to help you understand each stage of adolescent development.   http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_f/f-122.pdf

Here's DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince in their 1989 Grammy award winner "Parents Just Don't Understand."  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW3PFC86UNI