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Parenting a Feisty Child Through Artful Connection

Asian boy looking angsty as dad looks on behind

Dealing with a strong-willed child can be a real challenge, right? Try correcting a defiant 12-year-old. It can be a tough nut to crack. You will probably have her goes all out defending her point, and things often end up in a full-blown yelling match. If parents don't see eye to eye, she feels unheard, gets defensive, and shuts us out. It's like we're on different pages. So, how can we dodge these family shouting sessions and handle issues with some authority?

The key to dealing with a fiery teen like yours is understanding what they really want and giving it to them. And guess what? What an angry teen wants might surprise you. Let's turn your kid's anger around with some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

R - Respect Your Teen

Always treat your teen how you'd want to be treated. It sounds simple, but it's crucial. Kids follow what they see. Even if your teen is pushing your buttons, going off the rails or using harsh words won't help. Ask yourself, "Would I talk to a friend this way?" If not, shift your approach can set the stage for a more constructive exchange.

E - Expect Respect in Return

We teach our kids how to treat us. When they're disrespectful, respond firmly but respectfully. Say, "I get that you're angry. I'm ready to listen when you use a respectful tone. Find me when you're calm, and we can talk." If they stay disrespectful, stay silent until they come around and talk respectfully.

S - Support Your Teen

Have faith in your teen's ability to learn from their mistakes. Avoid the "I told you so" trap, and don't dwell on what went wrong. After the storm has passed, engage in a supportive conversation, asking questions like, "How did that work for you?" or "What did you really want?" Assist them in reflecting on better approaches for the future.

P - Positive Attitude

Maintain a positive attitude to foster a supportive home environment. Prioritize self-care, get adequate sleep, engage in activities you love, and spend quality time with each of your children. An artful balance of positivity contributes to a more harmonious family dynamic.

E - Encourage a Cooling Off Period

Recognize the importance of taking a break to cool off during heated arguments. Continuing a confrontation in the midst of anger seldom leads to resolution. Encourage a brief cooling-off period to prevent regrettable words and promote a more constructive dialogue.

C - Create Family Rules for Fighting

Infuse art into conflict resolution by collaboratively creating family rules for fighting. When the atmosphere is calm, involve every family member in outlining rules for cooling down, sharing an inspirational oath, and establishing effective listening practices. Display this document prominently around the house as a visual reminder of your family's commitment to respectful communication.

T - Train Your Teen

Artful parenting involves gradually transferring responsibility to your teen. Provide opportunities for them to develop life skills, gain confidence, and feel respected through training and increased responsibilities.

Asking for an Apology from Your Teen

Apologies are powerful but need the right timing, steering clear of demanding one in the heat of the moment. Express your desire for an apology with honesty, clarity, and respect, emphasizing that it is welcomed when they are ready to offer it. Additionally, model accountability by apologizing when you, as a parent, make mistakes.

Remember, your fiery teen seeks understanding and respect. By infusing R.E.S.P.E.C.T. into your parenting approach, you can witness positive behavioural changes and strengthen the connection with your passionate child.

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