I love my children. But there are times I just don’t like them. Especially teenagers! What’s the deal with teenagers?
Well, let me tell you. They are mouthy, rude, disrespectful, selfish, and sometimes just plain nasty.
I had worked with other people’s teenagers for around 9 years before having one of my own. Other people’s teens love me! My own…I definitely wonder.
Now that I have two in my house I can tell you my theory on teens seems to be true. My theory is they turn into demon spawns around 12 or 13, and start turning into humans again after they turn 17. It was most certainly true for my oldest, and my 14 year old is knee deep in his demon transformation. In fact, I’ve resorted to calling him a cactus (code word for prick since my oldest has been calling him that lately).
This is why I say its ok to not like your child. After all, who likes a person who is rude, disrespectful, and downright nasty?
Here’s a few ways to handle those demon spawns.
1. Let them know they are still loved.
Trust me when I say I understand how difficult it is to love someone you don’t really like at the moment. But teens need to know you still love them regardless of their behavior and attitude issues. This is one of the hardest times for them and they need to know you’re going to be on their side.
2. Let them know home is a safe place to be themselves.
I want my kids to be able to come home from school and have a safe place to be who they are. In my house this is more an issue of the older kids constantly picking on the younger kids for being “annoying” or “talking to much.” But it also comes in the form of letting your teens be demon spawns if they need to be. Which leads me to my third point…
3. Let them know it’s ok to be in a bad mood.
Right now my 14 year old’s every day persona is a mean and grumpy jerk. To everyone. All the time. Its nonstop. And I completely understand how that feels. It’s called hormones. I know I, myself, can feel like I hate everyone around me when hormones are high, and his hormones are high. All. The. Time.
This week I needed to let him know it’s ok to be in a bad mood once in awhile, that’s human nature. And I drew a comparison of myself when I know hormones are changing my moods. I let him know, however, that he needs to talk about being in a bad mood and not just lash out at every one he sees. Let us know he’s grumpy so we give him his space. We aren’t mind readers, and honestly his every day attitude and his grumpy attitude have been the same lately.
4. Let them know they still need to be respectful to authority, no matter their mood.
This one is important. About three days ago my teen popped off pretty bad at dinner time. It was to the point it was a full blown screaming match before he left the kitchen in tears, after yelling at me a command to stop talking to him.
You see, he was completely out of line with his tone and attitude towards his younger sister. His words were mean and unnecessary, and it’s been how he is acting lately. When I pointed out he was crossing the line, he turned to yelling at me. My response to this is a life lesson.
We are all human and will all have bad days, but you can’t just go around treating people, especially people in authority, like that. I pointed if he had a job and talked to a customer or his boss like that he would be fired. In MY house I AM his authority, and let him know he is to NEVER speak to me in that manner again.
Be understanding, but don’t lay down to these outbursts.
5. Continue to ask them how their life is going, even if they don’t seem to want to talk to you.
Not going to lie, this one is hard. It’s hard to be nice to a kid you’d rather punch in the face sometimes (figuratively speaking, mostly). I’ve definitely had an issue trying to get through to the teens when they are going through this stage. But I continue to do it because it shows I still care. And beyond that, I actually DO want to know how his day went.
6. They will come out of this stage. Just be patient.
I promise, if you continue to show your teens love they will come out of their demon spawn stage. Around 17 or so they should start to mature a little, the hormones calm down a bit (not all the way but the bulk of puberty is done so they aren’t quite as bad), and the human side starts to come back.
Like I said, I worked with teens for 9 years prior to having one in my house. I’ve seen the change in other people’s kids, and I’ve seen it in my own. My oldest has come such a long way from his “cactus”
years. And even though my 14 year old is hard to like sometimes, I have no doubt he’ll come out of this stage and be better because of it.