Every parent knows that he should be careful when his children start approaching ten years, and they know that it will be hard. We all know that, but we manage to make ourselves believe that our children are different and that they will never talk back, never get in trouble or never do something like get a tattoo or start smoking. Guess what, 99% of us are wrong, we all think that but we all suffer the same fate, our children become hot tempered and wired and they do crazy things, just like we did when we were in our teens. That is how things go, but with some effort and genuine concern we can make the transition much smoother and easier on both the kids and ourselves.
So here you are, your kids are doing great, they listen to what you have to say, they are doing their homework and a few minutes after they are rolling their eyebrows and giving you the silent treatment. What happened? Most parents are shocked by the sudden change, and in most cases they don’t know how to respond to this and that is when problems start to appear. If you think about it you have seen all of this before, with that same child, only he or she was few years old and was screaming; now they are silent. It’s just a transitional phase when children are more involved with their friends, think more about their feelings than they think about their family, we all went through that. Maybe not in the same way, but the basics are the same.
There are some cases where parents feel hurt and they respond in the same way, by rejecting their children in the same way the children reject them, which is the biggest mistake a parent can make at that point. Your children need you still, and they know it, they just want to find their way as individuals. Since that period is confusing for them you need to have understanding and patience.
This is the time when you have to make some ground rules from scratch, not just for your child, but for yourself. It’s one thing if your child roles his eyeballs or makes faces, but if your child starts cursing at you and slamming the door whenever you open your mouth you need to enforce some discipline. A good simple “no” is a thing that teenagers respond to, although they act like they don’t, be direct with what you want to say, don’t beat around the bush and don’t let your own child boss you around. If you can’t establish authority in your own house you are in trouble and your child is in trouble as well. The bottom line is that whatever you do you do it for the sake of your child, even if that something is not to his or her liking.