A part of growing up is knowing where the line is and trying to extend it further. I did it. You did it. Our children do it now. Teens and early adolescents push boundaries. Sometimes it’s done with purpose. Other times, it’s a lack of recognition. We see this every day in the Middle School. Middlers, when asked, sometimes do not know why they did something. They just do it. While this is frustrating to hear, I believe it to be accurate. Middlers react quickly oftentimes without using good judgment or understanding the impact of their actions. The same happens in our homes.
Raising a teen can be challenging, some would argue it’s the most difficult aspect of raising a child. Cheryl Maguire recently wrote an article in the New York Times called, “How to Stop Thinking Your Teen Is ‘Pushing Your Buttons.’” In the article, Maguire states, “at some point, most parents feel as if their teenager is acting in ways to intentionally make them angry. But experts say that the interaction is often more about the way the parent responds than about the teenager’s behavior.” We’ve all been there in that moment when tensions rise quickly and soon it leads to frustration between adult and child. The author offers three suggestions – control your reaction, be on the same team, troubleshoot.