Advice on Saying No to Your Teen
Being a parent is no fun when you have to say no to your child, especially a teen. Teens can be so convincing. Sometimes your son or daughter may act so mature or claim that you don’t trust her/him when you say no. It takes energy to stand your ground and make decisions as a parent. Below are a few things you’ll need to remember about saying no to your teen:
Teens often use anger to manipulate their parents into accepting or doing whatever it is they want. Your son may curse you, yell or even try to throw things at you. Most parents will give in to the teen’s whims at this point. This means that the child has gotten his/her way. As a parent, you need to be aware of these situations where your child uses anger to get things happening their way.
Another common reaction when you say no to your teen is unhappiness and disappointment. Your teen will lock herself in the room, avoid you and sulk all day. It’s normal to feel guilty as a parent especially when you see your child unhappy. This is usually a good strategy to get you to change your mind.
Too good to be true
There is that child who will be unusually nice in order to get their way. This could mean helping to clean the house, take out the trash or other tasks that would have been a problem for them to do. Before you know it, she asks you for something that you would have otherwise refused. This tactic usually works because parents will consider it a reward to get her to do whatever she wants. Furthermore, you may not want to mess up the good vibes and positive energy by saying no.
Set very clear boundaries
It is common for your teen to try and push you into making a decision before you even have all the details about what she/he is requesting. Don’t make a decision before you think it through. Take your time to process the information. If you had already established guidelines and rules, think of what she/he is requesting and whether this will go against them. Most importantly, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to change your decision if you feel it is going to protect them.
Don’t react to drama
If you have teens, especially girls, be prepared for some drama. Don’t let drama make you give in to whatever your teenager wants. Look for a way to stay clear of the drama. If she is really upset, take a break and only talk to her when she has calmed down.
Provide alternatives that would make you say yes
At the end of the day, you don’t want to ruin your teen’s life by saying no to everything he/she wants. You can provide ultimatums or conditions for you to say yes. For instance, ask if a parent will be there for her to go to the party or tell her to give the parent’s number if she is to be allowed to go.
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Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates