When your teen is shouting and stomping, you'll try just about anything to get them to stop. But forget about all those fancy programs. If your teen is the average child without any mental or physical conditions, get back to basics. These simple, yet creative methods work time and again when my teen gets a little cranky.
Find your teen a hobby or let them work. Sometimes a cranky teen is simply a bored teen. Give them something to do. This could be something simple like walking the dog daily. They also may want to volunteer at a local animal shelter. My teen daughter visits so much, she is going to apply for an official position this summer. Sports and local community classes are another way to take up that time and release pent up energies. Department stores, restaurants, and many other establishments often have positions teens can apply for.
Spend more time together. You may think they want you to completely disappear. But the truth is, your teen still loves you and wants your attention. Take time out as often as possible to spend with your teen. It doesn't matter so much what you do, as long as you are spending time together. My teen likes me to go with her to the animals shelter. We also might take walks or have a mother and daughter day. If you have other kids, like I do, try rotating time with each one and spending time with all together.
Give teens room to breathe. This may seem to contradict the idea of spending time together. But in order to be happy and balanced, your teen needs both. Let your teen be independent if he's feeling especially moody. The teenage years can come with pent up frustration for many reasons. Friends, hormones, and just life in general could be stressing your teen out. Let him be alone to think before rushing to ask questions. Sometimes too much prodding can cause even more pressure, especially if your teen is facing a difficult issue or decision.
Just listen. If you want your teen to be able to chill the attitude and open up to you, be quiet. I know firsthand that it can be hard not to ask what's going on or analyze the situation. But sometimes us parents just need to keep our lips sealed. The silence can help calm your teen down and make her feel comfortable enough to open up. When she starts talking, don't offer advice right away. Just listen until she is done. Her attitude may be in part due to the fact that she feels no one is listening to her. If you are always offering advice, you could be adding to those insecure thoughts.
Laugh often. I know, I know. This is so simple. It sounds like it is easier said than done. But trust me, when there is constant laughter, your teen will have an easier time ditching the attitude to the curb. I'm not saying don't take problems seriously. But learn to laugh at mistakes and learn from them. Tell jokes all the time, even if they are corny. Laughter helps relieve stress in both teens and adults and can be very helpful in ditching an attitude problem. It's pretty hard not to laugh when everyone else in the room is doing it. Try it. You'll see what I mean.
Keep in mind that there can be serious reasons behind your teen's attitude. So, don't ignore those signs, even if they are faint. Also, be sure your teen has regular visits to the appropriate health professionals.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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