If you have a teenager in your house, their behavior is hard to interpret at times. They may not even understand why they do the things they do. Their behaviors are based on a goal or meeting a need. They don’t always know how to do this appropriately. We as parents have the difficult task of interpreting that need. They may just need to be noticed or loved. They may need comforted for some pain they are feeling that they don’t know how to express or maybe don’t have the desire to express. These can be difficult to deal with because we have to rely on our interpretation and try to stay connected while they often try to disconnect.
One of the most difficult needs to deal with is their need and desire for independence. Some teens are easier than others. Some can be very difficult. They seem to be so determined to accomplish this goal of independence that we don’t know how to deal with their behavior. We want to protect them from bad mistakes but if we hold too tight we will lose them. Proceed with caution and much prayer.
Unfortunately there are no pat answers but be sure to love unconditionally and communicate often. When communicating, make yourself available and listen more than your talk. Do more asking when you speak than telling. Even if they don’t answer out loud, the questions will encourage more productive thought than what we can tell them. Don’t allow their behavior to hinder your thoughts. It helps if you think long and hard and pray before you speak or react.