Raising Responsible Teenagers

When a child or teenager goes on the rampage in response to a ‘no’ from a parent, what is the parent to do? Certainly, a clip around the ear would only be fighting fire with fire and does not model for the young person a mature way of managing a conflict situation. The immediate response to a child who is attempting to gain control through destructive or terrorising behaviour is to physically hold the child in a firm and non-threatening way that is safe for the parent and prevents him/her from continuing the intimidatory behaviour. When it is a teenager, the parent needs to keep a safe distance, maintain strong eye-contact and request firmly that (s)he immediately desists from this disturbing behaviour. If the teenager continues rampaging, then within the young person’s earshot, the parents need to ring the police and request immediate help. This latter response is both a kindness to self and to the son or daughter.

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