Parenting Tips on Dealing with Stubborn Teenagers

Learning how to deal with a stubborn teen is so hard these days. Especially since there are so many rules to watch out for in dealing with an errant teenager. Child protection services are just right around the corner and sometimes you just want to tear your hair out finding the right way to discipline your child. But honestly, you don’t really need to do anything drastic to deal with hard-headed kids. Here are some tips for you to handle your erring teen

Never Compare your Teenager to Others

This is one mistake that parents often do. Teenagers do not like to hear words that compare them to other teens. Even comparing your kids with each other can trigger. Now it may seem innocent for you to say other teenagers are performing better than your stubborn one, it’s the wrong approach. Your son or daughter is an individual being. They have their strengths and weaknesses unique to themselves.

  • Realize that your kid is unique, he/she may be a teen like other teens, but he/she is an individual
  • Get to know your kid’s personality and behavior
  • Pattern your discipline according to the behavior of your kid

Getting to Know Your Teen Better

You should be learning how to develop a bond with your teen. Now, most people think they only must do this when their kids grow up. Start early, learn what makes your kid tick at a younger age. Just find out your kid’s likes and dislikes. This doesn’t mean however that you just bend over to get everything they want. Look at the list of things you know about your son or daughter and use your judgment on what to give. Sometimes you can even use their likes as a positive reinforcement to encourage proper behavior.

  • Know your kid’s likes and dislikes
  • Don’t give in every time
  • Use their likes to reinforce good behavior

Communication with Active Listening

Another mistake by parents is to have a one-sided conversation. Say your kid does something incredibly stupid, peppering your kids with rhetorical questions won’t help you get the answer you’re looking for. When asking questions, choose words and sentences that allow your teen to respond. And when your kid does reply, be attentive. You might be able to learn more about your son or daughter that you can use in the future.

  • Engage your teenager in a conversation, this means a two-way communication.
  • Ask how your kid is first. That should be your first question in most cases. It’s important to know the well-being of your kid before anything else.
  • Try to limit asking why. Why tends to back your kid in a corner and when that happens, their first response is usually to lie.
  • Always ask for your kid’s safety first. It helps calm them down and makes them feel valued.
  • When asking for information about what happened, avoid asking “WHY” or “What were you thinking”. At best they’d only mumble because let’s be honest, shenanigans are often not well thought out.
  • Focus more on factual evidence in a calm and inquisitive manner.
  • Learn to forgive depending on the situation. Sometimes it’s just not worth it ruining the self-esteem of your kid over a broken vase. A broken vase can be repaired or replaced, your kid’s confidence is a bit harder to mend.

Spend Time with Your Teenager

Have fun with your kids. It’s one of the best parenting tips out there. It’s normal for teens to be very scatterbrained with dates and appointments. Be an example to them. Manage your time well and spend precious moments together. It doesn’t have to be grand like a trip to the Alps or abroad like a European trip. Sometimes having dinner together is just as effective. In fact, the dinner table is an often-neglected space for bonding.

Dinner Table Tips for Parents with Teens

  • Don’t turn the table into an inquisition. Oftentimes, parents corner their kids on the dinner table and start asking questions. This tends to create behavior that makes teens avoid the table in the future.
  • If your teen doesn’t really talk, be an example again. Talk about your day then ask your kids how theirs went too.
  • Be emphatic with your kids on the table. Sometimes you can see if your child is troubled or not. Wait for the meal to end and then find a space in the home for a quiet conversation.

These are just tips to help you manage a stubborn teenager. Just remember though, it won’t work for everyone. Going back to the first tip, every teenager is unique. But at least you now have a guide on how to handle your children. Want to know more tips on handling stubborn kids? has a repertoire of articles for you to read. Become the best parent you can be with!