Picture the following: it’s late on Sunday morning, and your teen is still in bed. You want them to get on with their day and use it wisely, but they’re intent on remaining in the sack for as long as possible, sometimes sleeping until the afternoon if necessary.
For a parent, this can be a little disconcerting. Why would you teen want to sleep so much? Don’t they want to make productive use of their time?
Unfortunately, this is a very “adult” way of looking at the problem. We imagine that teens have the same priorities as us and want to make use of each day as best they can. For young people though going through the throes of physical and psychological change, that’s not the case at all. Their priorities are utterly different.
The list of problems that you can have with teenagers goes on and on. Sometimes they don’t want to eat their dinner. Other times, they seem to be able to do nothing but chat with their friends on social media or play video games. As a parent, you can find yourself at a loss.
Worse still, whenever you try to confront your teen, it seems to generate a confrontation. You often end up in a screaming match where neither party wins.
It turns out, though, that you could be merely misdiagnosing the problem. Parents have misconceptions about why teens do what they do, and don’t understand the underlying motivations and drivers.
Here are some of the real reasons your teen is so disruptive.
Your Teen Is On An Emotional Rollercoaster
The latency period between the age of about five and the onset of puberty is one of the calmest. Children settle down and can often become pleasant and undisruptive. As they get older, though, and their hormones kick in, things can change dramatically. Almost overnight, they hop onto an emotional rollercoaster as they grapple with accepting that they’re sexual beings.
Brain changes in adolescents are extensive. Many areas of the brain change rapidly in both size and structure, leading to wholly new behaviors. The child has to somehow integrate these new aspects of their personality while at the same time, deal with a host of new emotions they’ve not experienced before.
Your Teen Isn’t Acting Rationally
One of the first things you learn about troubled teen programs is that children going through puberty don’t always act rationally. You might be aghast at the fact that they could be so foolish – and scold them for being so – but it can fall on deaf ears. Teens, in general, aren’t operating on a well-reasoned level. Instead, they’re experiencing an impulse and then just running with it, come hell or high water.
Your Punishments Are Making Things Worse
As a parent, you want to punish your teen to make sure that they don’t engage in the same behavior again. This punishment, however, is a poor substitute for understanding and processing what happened. It suggests that the teen is maliciously doing things wrong, which is rarely the case.
Have you experienced any of these with your teens? How did you handle them and what was the outcome? Share your experience with our readers.