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Your Teen Pushing Your Buttons? Here's What to Do

Ingenio Category: Family Coaching


We don’t need to tell you that there’s no ‘easy’ button when it comes to parenting. Every family is unique and comes with its own challenges. When it comes to a teen who pushing your buttons, however, there are some steps you can take to keep a cool head and maintain stability (not just for yourself, but most significantly for your family.)

While you’ve spent over a decade nurturing and protecting your child, they’ve now entered a realm of fancied adulthood. Not only is your authority questioned frequently and with ire, but you find yourself relentlessly attempting to impose your logic and life experience only to be met with contempt and ridicule. Both parties are left frustrated and unresolved. Result: your hot button has reached an immeasurable temperature. From this point, the opportunity to reach an honest understanding has been thrown out the window.

For a moment, consider where your responses come from. As a parent, you will never stop worrying about your child—and this fear and worry runs deep. Yet, there must be a separation between your thoughts and feelings and your actions and reactions. Recognize where your fear stems from: from a place of love. Now, remember that you’re the experienced adult and must act accordingly. This is where you can learn to be aware of your hot button and not act on it.

Oftentimes, almost like a defensive front, parents feel they need to quickly respond to their children. They need to always have the right advice if solicited, they need an immediate yes or no to a certain request, or they need to dole out proper and fitting consequences when called on. When your button has been pushed, you’re being told to act—immediate action is required or you’re not doing your job.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Take a minute to process. Give yourself the opportunity to breathe. It’s okay to disengage. Consider the following responses:
“I’ve got some strong feelings about that. Let me have some time to think about what you just told me.”
“I’ll get back to you on that.”
“Thank you for bringing this up. I think it’s important. Let me discuss this with your mom/dad and we’ll let you know.”

Consider what you really want to say and why you want to say it. This not only let’s your child know you’re listening to them and taking into consideration their needs, but it also shows them an immense amount of respect. You can slowly but surely begin breaking down your defensive walls and allow the door to more open and thoughtful communication open.
A healthy relationship between you and your teen relies on you to maintain poise and thoughtfulness when faced with heated objection. Listen to your teen and try to recognize their concerns, and try to respond without the impulse of emotion. It’s never too late to work on a healthy relationship.