Teenage Attitude Where Did My Sweet Kid Go?
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 what’s with this attitude and what caused the sudden change?
You don’t need to be their best friend, but you still need to get along through their teenage years. I’ll be talking about adolescent angst, through the adolescent years, and being the parent of a teen.
I can tell as you the teen or young adult years were as fun to me as their younger years and when they were young children. They’re learning to joke and be “cool” and can carry on a real conversation.
But, they all had teen behaviors and teenage attitudes, at times, and I hated what it did to our relationships and the difficult emotions it brought. We would yell, they would yell, we would be frustrated, they would be frustrated, there would be crying, or they would start pushing boundaries.
It was not a fun time! I enjoyed those years very much and watching the transformation through the years of age that happens so very quickly.
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I will sidetrack here to say, Choose your battles wisely. We were youth pastors for more than 15 years, and I often told a lot of parents and parents of teens, “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.
The best thing is to let it go and they move on. This is normal teen’s behavior. One of our boys had every color hair at 12 and 13 under the sun. It was no big deal. It’s a part of the young people experience – 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. Plus, this is a way to find their sense of self as they’re going through a lot of changes, of which, most are hormonal changes.
What a lot of people sometimes think about is that it could be a mental health disorder. Sometimes what is normal teen angst could be misdiagnosed by parents as signs of or symptoms of depression or warning signs of social anxiety or any other mental health condition. So, slow down and talk with your child to determine the real root of the issue before you consider professional help during this difficult time.
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Back to the attitudes. When they’re 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.
Sometimes they just need better sleep, especially with all the emotional changes happening, with the pressers of being a young person in high school or middle school, and on top of that, going through the changes of puberty or any physical changes. Then you add peer pressure to the mix and the need be perfect like what they see on social media.
But, more often than not, what I have found is that there is some hidden guilt somewhere. This could be due to substance abuse, romantic relationships you didn’t know about, or something they did they’re afraid or ashamed to tell you about. It’s always best to have an early intervention – speaking directly to them to find out what the underlying causes of their angst are.
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 our fun kid back!
When a new attitude pops up out of nowhere, look for the causes of teenage angst. There could be a lot of pain and guilt they’re 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!