Raising a teenager is not always an easy job. At this difficult age our beloved children can start arguing with us, shouting or even telling us off. This can not only concern us, but also even hurt our feelings. How to avoid these kinds of situations? Can we change our children’s behaviour by changing ours? According to one of the couples that have been on our Living With Teenagers programme – yes you can! We have received a letter with their story and we would like to share it with you today.
When our eldest son became a teenager it seemed as if he’d grown horns overnight and had a personality transplant; he became angry, bad mannered and answered back all the time. He would shout at us, stomp off, slam doors and throw things about. He also became lazy, he slept all the time, never left his room and he was secretive and monosyllabic. Our home suddenly became a war zone with everyone shouting at each other and we just didn’t know how to cope.
Talking to a close friend one day, she said she was having the same problems with her teenager and she gave me a leaflet about some help we could get. Things really came to a head shortly after this when our son stormed out of the house, apparently not to return! Distraught and confused, we ‘phoned the team at Fun and Families, who listened to my tearful account with complete sympathy and understanding.
They came round to talk to my husband and me and we signed up for the very next “Living with Teenagers” workshop. We went along one evening a week for 7 weeks to join a very small group of parents in similar situations. The workshops are totally confidential, they are fun and relaxed, they are sometimes soul searching and at times emotional.
We soon began to learn why our teenager was behaving so badly, how best to identify the triggers that would set off the bad behaviour and above all, how to avoid the destructive confrontation that was making all our lives hell.
The workshops are really comfortable, relaxed and are in a secure and safe environment; everyone is made really welcome by the group leader. We never once felt inadequate or unworthy. From the very first meeting we began putting our new parenting skills into place at home and by the end of the 7 weeks my husband and I had learned to work together to develop a whole new way of managing our teenager – who actually said to us that he was really pleased we’d been to the workshops! The results were just amazing – our home stopped being a battlefield and we all breathed a sigh of relief.