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The 'Headstrong' Teenager

A child who is HEADSTRONG, TENACIOUS and STUBBORN can be one of the hardest to raise.

"NO" can be thrown back at requests to get dressed, or get ready to leave the house. Arguments easily erupt and anger at being 'told what to do' can certainly make parenting hard. So how do we parent the less compliant child when we have other siblings to raise, timetables to meet and boundaries that we have put into place around behaviour?

Firstly, remember that invariably the most annoying traits in our children are more often than not the very thing they have been given to be able to work out their destiny. They are also the very thing that we can easily destroy if we are not aware of why they are there! Our role as parents is to identify the personality traits or characteristics of our children, without crushing them.

Secondly, having identified what these traits are we need to be responsible to train our Teenagers accordingly. A stubborn, headstrong child is not only one who knows his own mind but who usually tries to force their position into a given situation. We therefore HONOUR THE KNOWING but TRAIN THE FORCE. We help them identify what it is that they believe so strongly and give them TOOLS to implement, TOOLS to negotiate, TOOLS to deliver, TOOLS to restrain and most importantly TOOLS to understand when to do which!

Thirdly, as I mention again and again SEPARATE the behaviour from the person, i.e: "As an individual you are an extraordinary young man. You have been given tenacity as a gift, but sometimes you apply it inappropraitely. When your behaviour becomes unacceptable it is not because you don't have a valid view but because you apply it in a way that is distructive."

Your teenager will soon be leaving home and this is your last chance to put some boundaries into place which will be TOOLS for them for the rest of their lives!

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