How to ask a rebellious teen to do something without getting resistance
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- This topic has 24 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 5 months ago by fkelly.
December 27, 2013 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #611684
Lets say you have a rebellious teen child and you want them to wear a coat because its cold outside or to do any other basic logical thing that would be in their benefit and every time you tell them to do something they resist you and put up a fight. What is the best way to formulate a request of them to do something that will circumvent their attitude and confrontationalism?December 27, 2013 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #997089popa_bar_abbaParticipant
I don’t know.
But in my opinion, the fact that they want to be confrontational about every reasonable request is the bigger problem than them not wearing a coat.
I’d want to figure our what I did that made them so resistant to doing anything I suggest. I would go to therapy to figure that out.December 27, 2013 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #997090
Clearly there are issues and therapy is a process that takes time. There are teens that are very confrontational and angry and they cant be “told” to do anything or they go on attack or defensive mode.December 27, 2013 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #997091streekgeekParticipant
Let him/her learn it the hard way.December 27, 2013 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #997092popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Oh, if you don’t have time for therapy, try electric shock therapy. Put an electric collar on him, and electric shock him every time he does something you don’t like.
I mean, unless you care about him or something.December 27, 2013 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #997093🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Suggest, don’t demand. Instead of “Take a coat or else you’ll catch a cold- it’s freezing out there” say “It’s very cold outside- I’d suggest you take a coat.” That will only provoke someone looking to be provoked.December 27, 2013 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #997094🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
I can’t believe people are telling their teens to wear coats. Seriously? You think they can’t monitor their own temperature? You think if they choose not to in order to irritate you that asking is a good idea? If I wanted them to listen, I’d probably be a lot more careful about what I was asking.December 27, 2013 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #997095
Well said Syag! Don’t tell your kids things that they can figure out on their own and you won’t have this problem. Teens want to be independent. If you’re constantly telling them what to do then of course they won’t listen.December 27, 2013 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #997096frumeyidParticipant
How about if you ask him/her instead of commanding.December 27, 2013 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #997097🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
When I was a teenager my mother would often remind me to take a coat. Sometimes it irritated me, and sometimes I appreciated the reminder. All depended on how moody I was that day.December 27, 2013 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #997098zahavasdadParticipant
I dont know if he OP is talking about a Coat or something like getting up for Minyan.
Sometimes you have to pick your battlesDecember 27, 2013 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #997099Burnt SteakParticipant
Its like Gamanit said, Its how you say it. Also teens will naturally want to be different. Treat them like adults and then you may get a positive response.December 29, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #997101emunah613Member
Teens want to be in control and suggesting rather than demanding works. Also saying the word “I” helps. Instead of Please wear your coat, say “I think I am going to wear a coat today, it has become so chilly. The weather report says it will be freezing later on. ” Then leave it to them to decide what to do. Either they will follow suit, or they will be cold, and learn from the consequence. ALWAYS show caring and love, and straightforward talk. Teens hate sarcasm and get very upset by double meanings.January 1, 2014 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #997102👑RebYidd23Participant
It is impossible to force a teenager to do anything. If your teen is not wearing a coat, make sure that he/she is not going to freeze to death some other way.January 1, 2014 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #997103
Syag Lchochm: Very well said.
Forget telling them what to do. How about giving love? Show them how much care. Tell them how wonderful and good you think they are. Ask about their day. Tell them about your day. Communicate without showing any negativity and without giving them any orders at all. Talk to them with the same consideration you do when speaking to a person that is not part of your family. Then you won’t have to be asking about how to tell them to put on a coat!January 1, 2014 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #997104
Good advice. Thanks
What if the kid already got sick and is still coughing and yet runs out without a coat? I don’t think the kid doesn’t wear the coat to get back at the parents but rather because the kid is from those invincible teens that think they dont need a coat?
Thats good advice. It makes sense. Thanks
What if you disapprove of how they spend their unproductive day and you don’t want to hear how the kid is busy with this low life and that lowlife and speaking to this member of the opposite gender and that member of the opposite gender and got into a fight with this one and that one….?January 1, 2014 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #997105goldifischMember
It’s about reverse psychology and giving them choices within what you allow.
After a wedding my 4 yr old wanted to go home with Bubby, we live in different cities, and I gave him a choice you can go by yourself with Bubby but Mommy and Totty are going home or come home with us. He ended up having a meltdown and picked himself up and got into our car.
It’s not a great comparison, but I think it could work with teenagers too.January 1, 2014 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #997106plonis3141Member
Sometimes teens are just teenage-y. Even though you show plenty of love and caring, they just act moody and annoyed.
To those who say you shouldn’t be telling them to do things anymore, sometimes you HAVE to ask them to do something. Like, I am carrying in the groceries and the baby at the same time, can you please help me and take something.
In my experience, sometimes a quiet but firm “I asked you to do something” gets them to do it. Grumpily, but they do it, and that is fine with me.
Sometimes, they don’t do it,and then I can give them that “disappointed look”, or tell them I am disappointed.
And then, of course, sometimes, in my best parenting moments, I yell 🙂
I have found that as they are getting older, I am getting that moodiness less.January 1, 2014 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #997107
WIY: I don’t have any experience regarding these things, but if you’re asking what a parent should do, I would think a parent should listen anyway.
I once heard about a boy who fit the profile of what you describe, and his father listened to him ever single night, even though it was extremely hard for him. And supposedly this is what brought the kid back.January 1, 2014 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #997108🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
WIY – The question was about rebellious teens and was answered in that vein. So is the following: If the kid thinks he is invincible and is therefore not wearing a coat, how is butting heads with him going to make that go away? The point is, a child that age can monitor his own temperature. A parent telling a kid that age to put a coat on is telling him that he is not intelligent/responsible/trustworthy enough to make such a simple decision. That is how they hear your suggestion and that is destructive. They want to believe you have faith in them and trust their choices. If you want to risk giving bad messages over, I wouldn’t waste it on something like a coat.
If you see them making lousy choices about more important things, you still have to find a way to let them know EXPLICITLY that you love them, you know that they are old enough to make their own choices, but you are worried about some of the stuff they are doing. Or you are worried about some of the choices they are making. If you give that information over with a sense of responsibility and tell them that you know life is a struggle but that ultimately it is their choices to make you are not putting a stamp of approval on their poor choices. you will have less of a chance of making them feel small and burning bridges.January 1, 2014 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm #997109
What about smoking?January 2, 2014 12:36 am at 12:36 am #997110interjectionParticipant
To answer ops question, not necessarily about a coat, I would say ‘I love you and I know that this action leads to that result and that result is painful. Since I love you I want to forbid you from doing this action. However, even more than I love you I respect you. I respect you enough to make your own choices, even if I truly believe that you will regret the consequences because I respect you enough to allow you to do what you decide you need to do. I love you so much that I wish you were willing to trust my judgment, but I respect you so I’m going you the freedom to follow your own judgment. ‘January 2, 2014 12:59 am at 12:59 am #997111
Let me teach you a rule about teenagers. If they want to do something and you forbid them it’ll make them much more likely to do it. Don’t tell your kid you don’t let them smoke. And don’t say this is my house so while you’re here you follow my rules. That makes everything much worse. You can let them know that you disapprove, how dangerous it is, how even though now it seems cool it’s not worth it in the long run. And then let it go! Because the more you push your rules on them, the further you will alienate them.January 2, 2014 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #997112
And don’t say this is my house so while you’re here you follow my rules.
The only reason I don’t say that is because they shouldn’t think that when they get married and move out, it becomes acceptable.January 3, 2014 5:54 am at 5:54 am #997113
Trust, it also sounds sort of dictatorship and a teenager who craves independence hates that.
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