This week’s blog is written by Geoff Turner, the Marketing and Communications Manager for CPI. This week Geoff answers the age old question asked to all parents of children and teenagers; ‘Yeah.. but why should I?’
“As the father of a teenager, thoughts of behaviour are pretty much at the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. Parenting teenagers is a delicate balancing act between allowing certain freedoms that allow your youngster to start to discover their own independence, whilst imposing other boundaries and making (occasionally informed) decisions about which battles you choose to fight.
There’s the unmade bed, dirty mugs and dishes that need washing, a bedroom that looks like a small – but powerful – laundry bomb has been detonated with no hope of ever being able to separate what’s clean from what’s dirty. Reasonable requests – to your ears at least – to do homework, or tidy your room are met with; ‘yeah… but why should I?‘ or the even more infuriating; ‘No, i’m not going to do it‘. Taking a deep breath and counting to ten has taken on Olympic sport-sized proportions in our house.
So how do we get through each day with the minimum amount of arguing and despair?
We take the Five Pillars of Pivotal Practice, starting with;
Consistent, calm adult behaviour.
The first thing we try to remember (and in the face of adolescent sneering, it isn’t always easy), is to remain as calm as possible. As I said, it isn’t always easy but once you’ve lost your temper, you’ve lost your position and you’ve lost whatever modicum of respect for you that you imagine they might still have. What will inevitably ensue – a pointless power struggle.
Once you’ve managed to maintain your calm, then you can at least try and offer a reasoned argument as to why, for example, a thirteen year old shouldn’t be allowed to head out of the house at ten thirty at night to meet up with his mates (despite it being “the weekend” and the fact that the aforementioned mates are allowed out, so why isn’t he?). Power struggles are exhausting and ultimately futile – learn ways to nip ’em in the bud before they have the chance to develop, and step away.
The second thing we aim for is consistency. Again, it’s not always easy; but an unswerving, united approach is essential. Know where the boundaries you’ve set lie, and don’t let that mark be overstepped. Parenting can be a challenge, especially with teenagers, but if you remain calm and adopt a consistent approach it doesn’t have to be one that’s insurmountable.
Working alongside the team here at Pivotal Education, you find yourself absorbing this central tenet of behaviour management almost by osmosis – and our home life is just that little bit quieter for it.”
Want Pivotal practical support at home? Take a look at our online course, ‘Taking Care of Behaviour for Parents’
Read more about the Five Pillars of Pivotal Practice here