I FINALLY think I learned one thing about attitude while raising 4 teenagers. One day you have a fun kid that you enjoy being around and who enjoys being around you, and the next day they have an attitude from Hades and you’re left wondering “what just happened?!”.
I can tell you the teen years were as fun to me as their younger years. They are learning to joke and be “cool” and can carry on a real conversation. I enjoyed those years very much and watching the transformation that happens so very quickly. But, they all had teenage attitudes, at times, and I hated what it did to our relationships. We would yell, they would yell, we would be frustrated, they would be frustrated, there would be crying, it was not fun times!
I will sidetrack here to say, Choose your battles wisely. We were youth pastors for more than 15 years and I often told parents, “If purple hair is the only problem you have, you don’t have a problem!” Who cares if their hair is pink – it’s temporary, they move on. One of our boys had every color hair at 12 and 13 under the sun, big deal – he liked it, then he didn’t and it was over. So, you might not like green hair, but, it’s not a battle worth waging, in my opinion.
Back to the attitudes. When they are smaller we pretty much know that their temper tantrums and attitude come from being tired or even hungry. As a teen, that can also be true, but, what I have found, more often than not, is that there is some hidden guilt. Once we got to the bottom of it and they “confessed” it, they were able to get over it, with our encouragement and guidance, and move on and we got a our fun kid back!
When a new attitude pops up out of nowhere go look for the cause. There could be a lot of pain and guilt they are dwelling on and they don’t know how to handle it on their own. That’s my tidbit of parenting a teenager with an attitude, I hope it helps!