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Raising Difficult Children - And That Includes Teenagers

Raising Difficult Children - And That Includes Teenagers

Raising Difficult Children - And That Includes Teenagers

Most communication comes through body language. Kids will use this to tell you when they want to be alone or withdraw from conversation. Observe, and you'll get to know the signs.

But there are times when children - yes, even teenagers - will WANT to talk or just be reassured or comforted. Often they will feel worried or lonely. The signs will vary, but typically they could be:

coming down from their room unexpectedlyRaising Difficult Children - And That Includes Teenagers

hesitation in the voice

worried looks

asking seemingly irrelevant questions

hanging around looking lost.

To encourage conversation, ask about their experiences and share your own. Share your painful moments, yes, but be able to laugh at yourself. Help your kids realise that we all tend to take ourselves too seriously. When they see you can admit to embarrassing things, but can laugh them off, they will realise they can do the same. This is another way of leading by example, not by preaching.

Parents who are raising difficult children often find an improvement when they give their kids space and RESPECT that space. Young people are in a process of growth, and are experimenting with new ideas - in short, they're trying to 'find' themselves.

What could be more offensive, then, than parents going through their drawers and closets, reading their diaries, or eavesdropping on conversations and phone calls? No wonder such parents talk of raising difficult children!

Obviously there could be times when a breach of this privacy is called for, but it should be done openly and good reasons should be given. Snooping and underhand methods are rarely constructive.

The easiest way to train children to be responsible is to make them aware of their rights - all kids love that! - but to stress that with each right comes a responsibility. For example, they have a natural right to food, clothing and shelter. With that comes responsibility:

They must eat healthily and not waste food

They must look after clothes

They must ensure the home is kept safe and hygienic.

This can be extended to responsibilities relating to alcohol, driving, school work, and to the fair division of chores and essential maintenance.

If you work on raising communicative, independent and responsible kids, you'll find that your worry about raising difficult children has become a thing of the past.

Frank McGinty is an author and a teacher specializing in Personal & Social Development. Together with his wife, Grace, he also runs a 'Family Life' website, catering for a wide variety of family interests and concerns, including help with Difficult Children.
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Raising Difficult Children - And That Includes Teenagers