Parents of teenagers, please enter

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Spinach, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Let's say you have a 12yo child. And let's say that child is being snotty and sassy. Let's say you warn the child to stop the sass mouth or be sent to his/her room. Let's say the child persists. So you do what you said and you send the child to his/her room. But, let's say the child refuses to go and continues to sass mouth.

    WWYD?

    Honestly, I'm at my wit's end with teen and preteen stuff and we're just getting started. I need consequences, boundaries (and what to do when boundaries are crossed), etc. Do you know a good book? Got any wisdom to share? Can you spare a little chocolate?

    HELP! I'm ready to plop down in a puddle of my own tears here. Terrible twos were much, much easier!
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    We are on our 6th teen who is 15 now. We have a lot of experiences. Is the 12 year old a daughter and the major conflict with the mother?
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    The child refuses to go and you let them get away with refusing? I would never let a child refuse in the manner you spoke about.

    If you developed the habit of not following through with your threats when they were young you probably have lost the battle years ago. However, that may be too pessimistic. If you make a threat you better be prepared to carry through on the threat no matter what it takes! Set rules and keep them firm and in place. If they violate the rules come down on them and follow through with the threat. You may find it hard to do, but if you do not it will only get worse.

    Praise them when the do something that you like, is right and good. Discipline them when they do what is wrong.
     
  4. Spinach

    Spinach
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    Yes (plus a few characters to make this long enough to post)
     
  5. Spinach

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    No. I took hold of her arm and walked her down the hall to her room (dragged, sort of). I didn't feel good about it. I mean, she's 12 now. What about when she's as big as I am? Then what? Do I get into a physical match with my nearly grown child? Surely there's another way to go about this.

    I feel very unequipped to parent teenagers. I didn't used to feel this way, but now that I have two , I feel like I got in over my head. And I have several coming up under them.

    I'm not sure I have the patience for it, to be honest.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    Good for you! Yes, such actions do not make us feel good, but it is better not to feel good and ultimately save the child than otherwise.

    As one of my sister-in-laws told her troublesome teenage daughter years ago. "My job is not to make you love me or like me! My job it to ensure you survive until you are mature enough to made good decisions on your own.

    Welcome to the club. :tonofbricks:

    Actually, none of us have the patience, we grin, grimace, pray, cry, scream, etc. and somehow get through it.

    I have read that Mark Twain said that when he was 16 his old man was the stupidest man in the world and it was just amazing how much the old man learned in the next four years.

    Hang in there, the same will happen with your daughter. She will be amazed at how much you learn in the next 8 years.
     
    #6 Crabtownboy, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2011
  7. Jim1999

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    We had two daughters 18 months apart. We didn't give orders, per se, but we asked questions and reasoned with the girls. For example, rather than a punishment, we asked them what they would do in thus and thus situation. They usually came up with a worse punishment than we had contemplated.

    Wish you well with the girl.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I think that is the toughest parenting situation. I have shelf full of parenting books but don't think any of them can prepare you for teaching teens.

    I can share with you a couple of key lessons that we learned and I share with others if you are interested.

    Feel free to email me at roger at ireland dot com if you are comfortable doing so.

    We have six children from 15-32. I have been in youth ministry and taught junior high and high school. We may have a couple of pointers.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    12 yo girls and 15 yo boys. Oh my! Both groups think they are older and more mature than they really are.

    1) No one gets to refuse Mama.
    2) If Mama can't handle it, Daddy can!
    3) I brought you into the world, I can STILL take you out. (this always gets a grin)
    4) I can ignore rolling eyes for eternity, they don't affect me
    5) If you slam your bedroom door, you won't have one. (only had one kid to try me on this lol)
    6)You can think what you want, but you better DO what you are told WITH A SMILE!
    7)If you wake up with an attitude, I have work that can fix it. Hard work. Mind bendingly boring work.

    And if all else fails "nothing in life is free" and I mean NOTHING. You want your clothes washed, you better fold 'em after. You want to eat, you better have washed the dishes (because I will wash for everyone else and leave you with a dirty dish!). I can make life miserable for a 12 yo smart mouth if I need to.

    Be creative. The point isn't to punish (though you may be so mad that is what you want to do), the point is to teach respect.

    Follow through.every.time. If you say no she can't go x and she stands in the middle of the livingroom floor and tells you what an awful mother you are and how she hates you and blah, blah, blah. Tell her God gave you the job of making her miserable and you intend to do a good job of it. (you should say this with a smile, its a joke, humor often helps) Then tell her that not only is she not going to go to x but because she stood there and smartmouthed you she will be doing y during the time x is going on. Then send her to her room to think about whether being a smart mouth is a wise thing to do. (If you are counting that is 3 "bad" consequences to her mind: not going, working while the "others" are having fun, separation from the group) 3 is usuall the charm at my house.

    Good luck! In about 2 years when her hormones settle down, so will her smart mouth IF you are consistant about not allowing it now.
     
  10. Spinach

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    Yes, I'm interested. I will email you tomorrow. Thanks!
     
  11. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I don't know if this will work for you or not, but it worked for me in the school system both public and Christian.





    Here's what I discovered.
    • When a kid is emotionally charged enough to act defiantly to THAT extent, they are running on adrenaline and with their frontal lobe not being fully developed, once they start riding that adrenaline train, they are likely to do anything and say anything. I had to be prepared. They might come out swinging or they might even use profanity at me.
    • The defiance would escalate the more that I raised my voice and got in their face and violated their personal space. For the student that was past the point of no return, any provocation on my part on made it worse. A teenager and an adult screaming at each other solves nothing and only makes the child lose respect for the adult who is supposed to be in charge.
    • The softer and calmer that I spoke, not giving up ANY of my authority seemed to calm them down. And telling them that I was not mad at them, but unaccepting of their poor judgment would in some respects calm them down. I made it clear that I was not their enemy, but I was in charge.
    • I would then offer them what I call the "choice method". It took the image of me as the tyrant to be rebelled against away. And it made them feel more in control of their own predicament.
    Let me give you an example. At recess, a hot-tempered boy kicks the kickball and runs to first base. His "mortal enemy (as he perceives him)" tags him out. He takes it personally, gets into a screaming fit, and calls the boy a "fagg*t". I call him over to me and tell him to sit on the bench the rest of the recess and wait for me to take him to the office. He screams in my face, "No! I wasn't out! Everybody always takes his side. Everybody hates me! I'm not sitting on that bench and you can't make me!"

    Here's how the conversation would play out (and actually did play out).

    I let the boy run away back to the kickball field and spend about 30 seconds expending some of that adrenaline. I walk up to him in the middle of the field, still keeping an eye out on the rest of the playground, and speak calmly, but firmly.


    At that point I back up out of his personal space about two feet and wait for him to respond.

    I use this method with teenage boys and girls both. 99.99% of the time, they concede the issue and do what I originally asked them to do in the first place.

    Let's say this happens again and your daughter refuses to go to her room. Let's say she takes off to the den and turns on the TV. Let her watch it for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then go in the den, turn off the TV, and ask her if she understands that her behavior is unacceptable to the rules of the house. Whether she admits it or not, give her two choices. She can do what you originally told her to her do and she will receive the original punishment or she can continue to be defiant and there is a more severe punishment that she cannot control, such as no TV for 2 weeks, no cell phone, a spanking, or whatever more severe punishment is in the wings. And make sure that the more severe one is a punishment that she cannot manipulate. She can manipulate the being sentenced to the bedroom.

    Before you give her the two choices, tell her that she can "unload" ONLY in a civil tone of voice and a respectful manner what has made her so very, very angry. Then give her the two choices.

    It works for me. I don't have to back down and the teenager feels in control of himself or herself.
     
    #11 Scarlett O., Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  12. Gina B

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    I have different ways of handling different kids this age.

    The payment method: When you disobey, it will cost you cash. If you do not have cash, you will earn it by doing chores.
    So what if they refuse to do chores or like you mentioned, go to their room?
    Make sure they know they had a choice. They could do the right thing or the wrong thing. They chose the wrong thing.
    That could be handled by taking away something that's a privilege. A cell phone, a birthday party they were going to go to, etc..
    You could also be patient. Let her think she got away with it. Sooner or later she will ask you for something. She may want you to buy her an article of clothing. She may need a ride to somewhere.
    This is where you pounce. Say "I remember when I asked you to go to your room because of your behavior and you didn't want to. Well, it's my turn to be selfish. I don't want to spend my money on you today."
    Or "I don't want to give you a ride today."
    Or do something like make a hot breakfast she really likes and make sure you have a kind of cold cereal she dislikes, then let her know "I don't make special things for disrespectful children. There's cereal in the cupboard."

    When she gets mad and starts ranting over how mean you are, look surprised and remind her that disobeying was HER choice, not yours.

    You could also start requiring she do chores for money, which you keep in your possession. On a really bratty day set it up with the babysitter and tell her "since you're not able to act your age, dad and I need a break so we're going out to dinner. We've called a babysitter and we're paying her out of the money you made doing chores." When she says she's too old for a babysitter, let her know her behavior says otherwise.

    The point that should get across is that you do things for her and with her because you love her. When she is rude and disrespectful, it's her choice and because of that, she has consequences she doesn't like. Nobody in this world needs more than a roof over their head, a couple meals a day, and one or two sets of clothes. You can take the rest away and she can earn it back with kind, respectful, and decent behavior.

    I learned a new term from a teacher at school. It is called "Elective Drudgery." He wrote out a paragraph talking about the privilege of being in such a fine institution of learning and about the responsibilities and such that it entails. It goes on for a good long paragraph.
    The misbehaving student has to copy the paragraph ten times, and it ends with "please accept this as my apology."

    Whatever happens, get across the point that any consequences came from what SHE did. Before that sinks in, you can ask something like "why are you in your room by yourself with no privileges for an hour?" and the reply of someone who doesn't get it will be "because you made me."
    Wrong answer! Discuss who it was that was being rude and disrepectful.
    You'll know the concept is sinking in when the answer you get is more along the lines of "because I disrespected you."

    And after a punishment or a privilege is taken away, I always ask them if it was worth it. If they say no, I assume it was worth it and make things harder on them until they decide no, not worth it. Once they don't think it was worth it, then is the time to let them figure out and tell you what they will do the next time.

    It's okay to be mad, it's not okay to handle it like a stark-raving lunatic and if you do so, you WILL find out it wasn't worth it and you WILL take responsibility for it.

    At school I usually don't bother. I kick them out and if they refuse to go, I tell them "you either get up and walk out on your own or you get escorted out."
    One time was hilarious because there was NO wall button in the room to call for help with. Every other room had that, but not the music room. On top of that, the room is at the opposite end of the school and no classrooms near, just a big empty auditorium and then a very long walk to get to anything. And the kid knew that and sat there cussing and being loud. I couldn't leave them alone, and if I did it would take forever.
    So I quietly texted my husband and told him to call the school and send security to the classroom.
    And he did. The look on her face was priceless when they came and escorted her out! And I got a "I'm sorry ma'am" from her on the way out.

    If you come closer I'll give you some of my chocolate. LOL

    Trust me, there have been times when I was tempted to make a pre-teen sized hole in the wall like in the cartoons where it's in the shape of whatever got tossed through the wall. Thirteen seems to be the magic age in our house for snotty attitudes. Thankfully it didn't last long with mine.
    Three teens attitudes down now, two more coming up that will need adjusting.

    I might not share that chocolate after all...
     
  13. matt wade

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    Dad, belt, and a wore out backside.
     
  14. Spinach

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    She wrote me a note (not an apology note) and I wrote her back, complete with guilt trip about how hard I work to make sure my children have everything the need and blah, blah, blah.

    I remember being 12. I was pretty know-it-all. Unfortunately, she's a lot like me. I don't think I stopped knowing it all until I hit 30. Now I feel like I don't know anything. LOL!
     
  15. annsni

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    I always talk to my kids about what God wants from them. Not in a "God says to obey me" sort of way but more of a discipleship thing. Showing them what God says about authority. What sorts of things happen when we respect those in authority over us. This would include me obeying my bosses at work, my husband at home or my government authorities. I explain what God expects of them and why. It really helped my kids, I think.

    But a biggie in this house from the beginning was to NEVER disrespect anyone. We don't disrespect our kids, they don't disrespect us. Hubby and I don't disrespect each other. It just is not ever allowed to happen. Someone can be upset with someone else but disrespect is a capitol offense here - no exceptions. It has super stiff consequences because without the base of respect, nothing else will work.

    ((HUGS))
     
  16. CF1

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    Making many mistakes as a camp counsellor in my early twenties helped prepare me for parenting better.

    Kids often have the same character weaknesses that their parents have. We have to work together on our weaknesses, and admit we are both growing, and our kids have to grow along with us, unfortunately.

    Books are a good resource to get an orientation of how to approach things. Dobson's book "Dare to Discipline" is a classic that sounds like it would help you.

    Books on management are also good, because as a parent you are managing your kids development in a number of dimensions:

    spiritually
    socially
    emotionally
    intellectually

    They may not want you to manage them or micro-manage them, but they may need it and learn to value it, as they see you helping them.

    You want to have a lot of communication. You want to maintain self-esteem of both the child and yourself, this is also known as mutual respect. You want to have confidence, yes confidence, which is another way of saying faith. You need to pray for grace for more faith and confidence that God has a plan for you and your child to prosper you and not to harm you and your child.

    We have family devotions at the supper/dinner table and often have good conversations with our teens about the devotional. We use a simple devotional that is not too long and boring called "Choice Gleanings". It uses the King James version, but our kids are bi-lingual so I've said they should be able to handle it, and they have gotten used to it. This particular devotional is often short but deep and leads us to talk about our daily growth in the Lord together. Find one that you like and helps you grow. Times like this foster communcation. We talk about our kids' social lives and the challenges they face and try to help them become confident socially and we try to encourage them whereever they are struggling with friends at school.

    One daughter yesterday is seeking how to encourage a friend to stop reading books about the occult and vampires, which is pretty popular in movies and books. She is trying to evangelize this girl, and now the girl is taking a wrong turn. So we discuss together what bible verses would apply to my daughter and how to present these to this unsaved friend at school.

    We hope we are actively involved in our kids' lives as best as we can be. We have conflicts and have to work them to reconciliation through communication, faith, and confidence. Pray to God for grace in confidence and faith every day for these daily situations. You will grow closer to God with your child.

    Is your child a professing Christian? How is her walk with the Lord? Does she desire to grow in the Lord? What things could you do to help build her desire to grow in the Lord? Often the answers for your children are the same answers for yourself, at least this is true for myself.

    If there is arrogance, we call it out in our family. Sassing is arrogance to think one person does not have to help along with the family. Sometimes lack of communication is just a symptom of much deeper needs for communications about many things going on in the life of a 12 year old, who may be struggling to build her self-esteem, confidence, popularity, and have the ability to be as normal as possible for a Christian in a public school.

    Parenting is a big full time job, but that is what God has called you to do so you should do it, with His help every step of the way.

    By crying out to other believers on the Baptist Board, you have already taken a great first step in searching for God's will for your life in parenting. Congratulations on that!

    Lord we pray for this family that you would bless them and prosper them. We pray for all the needs of this 12 year old girl who needs many things at this age. Please give all things that are needed with your Grace. We depend on you. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
    11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
     
    #16 CF1, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011

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