No working mom will ever enjoy the situation where they have to deal with challenges posed by rebellious adolescents in the home.
But just as day follows night, your once very tiny children will soon become adolescents.
Sadly, some of these same children who lavished love and respect on you a few years before can quickly turn into difficult-to-handle adolescents.
There is an unfortunate fact about this type of children. They tend to be in a crisis stage of their physical and emotional development.
Thus, the challenges adolescents face as individuals can overwhelm them sometimes. And, usually, the internal conflicts they go through make them behave in ways that are not the best.
What to do
So what must you do as a working mom when you have the misfortune of having to cope with rebellious adolescents?
Should you meet fire with fire? No, I wouldn’t advise that sort of extreme reaction to rebellious adolescent behaviour.
I would strongly suggest that you try the below approaches in dealing with your rebellious adolescents.
Maybe you’ve got just one. Well, it doesn’t change the equation much.
Go ahead and implement my recommendations for coping with rebellious adolescents. I trust that they will help you bring some sanity into your relationship with your growing children.
Try love and understanding
In a number of cases, all a rebellious adolescent needs to fall back in line is the assurance that you’ve been interested in their welfare all this while.
The way you approach this is important. Instead of shouting at the top of your voice to let them and the whole world know that it is for their own damned good that you’re trying to correct them, sit them down and have a good motherly chat with them in private.
Adolescents hate being embarrassed in public. They will hate you with their body, soul and spirit if you keep treating them this way.
I think one reason is that adolescents tend to be too sensitive at this stage of their development. So avoid scolding them publicly. Insults and other expletives will only worsen the conflict between you and your adolescent child.
On the reverse side, showing them you care and that you even respect them as upcoming or newly-arrived adults will work some magic.
Find the source of the rebellious attitude.
Then take action to deal with it – not rashly, but thoughtfully.
According to research findings, adolescence happens to be a period when growing children crave for a sense of belonging to a social or peer group.
Suddenly, the adolescent child wants to belong to a group of young people who think they are, for want of a better word, super.
This is the stage acceptance matters so much to them. And this is exactly one of the main sources of waywardness among adolescents.
Because, a lot of these friendships or well-organized groups tend to promote rebellious behaviour.
This is why I would urge you to use a clever way to find out which type of young people your adolescent child hangs out with. And when you spot danger, find a smart way to let that child of yours see why they can’t gain anything from associating with hoodlums and undisciplined friends.
Beware, I’m not saying that bad company is the only source of the negative attitude put up by rebellious adolescents.
For all you know, you being a single parent as a consequence of a broken home, may just as well be one of the many causes of your adolescent child’s rebellious attitude.
Whatever the cause or causes, identifying them is one big step towards finding the right solution to this challenge.
Allow them some freedom
What are you talking about, Jemima? Give my rebellious adolescent more freedom to do as they please? That, of course, amounts to giving them a blank check!
Well, no. I mean, not exactly. I’m not even suggesting that you become an overly permissive parent.
Let me tell you this. Sometimes the reason could be that you have unconsciously been contributing to the situation you now hate to even talk about.
You know why? Some parents think (quite erroneously) that restricting the movement and other basic liberties of their children will make them become more disciplined. But this approach often backfires.
It gets to a point where they may begin to feel like caged wild animals and so begin to respond accordingly. The antidote?
Let them know you trust in their own judgement to make the right choices. Allow them the freedom to explore and make mistakes. Give them your motherly support in the process of learning from the consequences of their mistakes when (not if) they rear their ugly heads.
And, somehow, gradually, they will begin to mature into the responsible people you desire around you.
The above can never be a complete list of the best approaches for coping with rebellious adolescents. Nevertheless, your task as a working mom who, at the same time, has to rein in the untoward behaviour of your adolescent child or children will be made easier if you try them.