Being a teenager is an interesting phase in life, almost overnight it seems like they had transformed from a sweet loving child into some sort of creature that descended from another world.
Whichever way you want to look at it, dealing with teenage kids that hate you will require some skill and perseverance if you are going to guide them as they transition from a teenager into adolescence.
Trust me, as a dad and father to a teenage girl I know exactly the frustration you must be feeling which is probably what brought you here in the first place.
When dealing with teenage kids that hate you, there are several ways and methods that you should be doing that will make things a lot smoother. First, realize that they don’t hate you, it’s merely a transitional phase that they are going through. Be empathetic with them, do not project your agenda, if you criticize compliment them too, be a good listener, communicate your feelings, spend time with them, and get to know their friends.
There’s certainly a lot to unpack here, so let’s take a moment and go through each point in more detail while trying to make sense of it all.
First, Realize Your Teenage Kids Don’t Hate You:
I understand it’s difficult to think otherwise, but unless you are a horrible person your teenage kids don’t hate you.
As many experts would agree, being a teenager is a very difficult time for several reasons.
Not only are you trying to make sense of the world, teenagers today are bombarded with all sorts of pressure from all angles such as peer pressure, cyberbullying, the pressure to decide what they want to do when they get older, academic pressure, relationship uncertainty, to name a few.
Once you realize the enormous pressures they are constantly under, it becomes a little easier finding ways to help your troubled teen navigate through whatever they are going through.
Below are 10 suggestions that are guaranteed to make a positive impact.
As I mentioned, teens these days are under a lot more pressure than previous generations could ever imagine.
Teens today are bombarded with unprecedented temptations, cyberbullying, added peer pressure, social isolation due to pandemics and other factors, and so on.
The internet has certainly added to the pressure of growing up, unlike anything I have ever had to deal with.
With all this in mind, is it any reason why teens are facing depression and suicide unlike anything felt in previous generations?
Indeed, many of these same issues did exist previously, however, the internet has added additional layers to these issues that must be addressed and as parents, we need to empathize with what today’s teens are going through. After all, the enormous pressures on teens these days are unprecedented and shouldn’t be compared with the struggles that teens had faced in previous generations.
Projecting Your Own Agenda Is A No-No::
I know most parents out there want nothing but the best for their kids, and many good and decent parents would agree that proper guidance and instruction is what’s required to give their teens the edge when it comes to maximizing success.
The problem is, however, when many of these same parents provide a roadmap of sports for their kids to follow.
Some may want them to become a doctor or a lawyer, and chances are many of these young folks are given very little if at all choices when it comes to making the right decision on their futures and what they ultimately want to do.
Deep down, many of us – and not just parents – live out our lives thinking that we should have done something else with our careers, other key components that make up who we are.
Naturally, some parents are going to project this on to our kids in the hopes of living vicariously through them.
This is not a healthy way to approach raising a child, and ultimately your kids will become frustrated and resentful and that’s not healthy for anyone.
If You Criticize, Complement Them Too:
One of the most frustrating aspects of growing up among young teens is the lack of recognition from parents when criticizing their teens.
Of course, no one is suggesting that you should not criticize and instruct when necessary, however, it should usually be in tandem with some sort of compliment or encouraging words also.
For example, if you notice a trend where your teens is doing poorly in school it’s easy to focus on the obvious negativity like bad grades and poor attendance.
Keeping this in mind, it’s also good practice to add something like:
I understand that school may not be the most exciting thing going on in your life right now, but with all your smarts and potential, you could go a long way if only you concentrated more.
I’m not saying that you should sugar coat everything but offering some compliments or encouraging words will often open up your teen to a discussion that you may not have had if an ultra-hardline approach is always being employed.
Oftentimes, a healthy mixture of criticism and encouragement will go a long way in helping your teenager figure things out and ultimately motivating them toward their goals.
Pay Attention To Them:
Listening is certainly an important quality, after, many things we do in life depends on our ability to listen and pay attention to people and the world around us.
Likewise, our children whether they are teenagers or any other age category need to paid attention to as well.
Many folks reading this post might be wondering how they can reach out to their teens when they have completely shut you out of their lives.
The truth is that it can be a challenge, especially if you have allowed this wall to build up over time.
The good news is that nothing is preventing you from sitting them down and starting up a conversation where the primary emphasis is on them.
Communicate Your Feelings
Carrying on from the point above, when you make it a point to communicate your feelings, don’t sit them down for a lecture.
Rather, ask them questions about their life such as their friends, what they are looking to do when they get a bit older and say to them that you love them and you want nothing but the best for them; it might be a perfect opportunity for you to open up and apologize to them for not being there as much as you would have liked to.
Trust me, if you open up to them they will reciprocate. Most parents are detached from their kids and by exposing a vulnerability.
Explaining to them that you don’t always have the right words to express how proud you are of them, and ultimately you are proud to call them your son/daughter will most likely bring down any existing wall they may have built up over the years.
Spend Time With Them:
Oftentimes, actions speak louder than words so if you’re going to start afresh relationship with your teen than I recommend that you start planning some quality one-to-one time with them.
Ask them what they want to do, at times try and steer the outing as a way for them to continue to open up to you. Having a great conversation starter is a wonderful first step, however, relationships are like an onion in that sometimes you have to peel back the layers before you can get to the heart of the matter.
Be patient with them and never force an answer out, they will open up when it’s the right time.
Get To Know Your Teen’s Friends:
Perhaps one of the most difficult things a parent can do is take the time and get to know your teen’s friends.
Not only is it a great way to bond and show them that you care, but getting to know your teen’s friends will also go a long way in learning about who they spend time with and what, if any, potential issues may arise.
Having one of their friends come over for dinner may reveal who they are affiliated with. For example, if one of them has a gang tattoo visibly on their body probably indicates that your teen may be heading down that same path.
Conversely, they may invite one of their school friends over who is a straight-A student so it doesn’t have to always be a negative thing.
Remember, take this time not to interrogate. Rather, ask questions in a friendly manner and get them to drop their guard; let them know that you are relatable and caring.
When dealing with teenage kids that hate you, it’s important to take a multi-faceted approach to re-establish a connection with them.
Although I did highlight 8 expert tips, the truth is that you can probably add a few more suggestions.
In my previous post, I highlighted some wonderful suggestions for bonding that involves using sports and recreational activities.
Planning activities are also a great way to get in shape, bond, and have loads of fun in the process.
If you would like to add to the post with some suggestions not already covered feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
Also, if you have a story to tell about you and your teen as it relates to the article that would be great. Feel free to reach out and I will reply straight away.