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Handling a Teenager's Rebellion.

Dear Anjum
My son is entering his teens. His behaviour is changing and he is distancing himself from me. He doesn’t want to hug me or talk to me. He is always texting his friends and wants to be shut in his room. He just answers yes, no, whatever. Sometimes he even talks back rudely. Did I do something wrong?
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Answer:
Dear **
At some point kids cease to be babies and become adults. It is a transition difficult not only for them but also for mothers. Nothing lasts forever apparently. Your little baby will not always be a cuddly baby. We want to own things but nothing really belongs to us. Not even our children.
Parents tend to go on two extremes when they have a moody teenager- they avoid him mostly to avoid conflicts or make angry confrontations. Both are mistakes.
Be direct and honest.
I understand if you want some time alone, but it’s not ok to talk this way to your parents.
Be kind and affectionate.
Tell him that you love him. And that you will always be there for him. No one gets tired of hearing they are loved. Trust me.
Be a listener and encourage expression.
Ask him daily how his day was and be interested in listening to the smallest things. Don’t criticise his feelings. Let him express.
Take him seriously.
Teen problems (what you might call teen drama) might seem silly to adults but for them it’s a big deal. So make it a big deal for you. Don’t be dismissive of anything. When he sees you care about his problems, he will share with you.
Don’t try to fix everything.
Listen and offer help. But let him make decisions. Intervene only in really serious matters.
Don’t ignore bad behaviour.
He is accountable for his behaviour so don’t let it go. Tell him what he is doing wrong- for example back talking. Teach him how to handle his emotions and express himself honestly but politely. Ignoring bad behaviour will teach him that it’s ok to do that.
Just because they are teens doesn’t give them license to behave badly. A parent always has to learn to strike the right balance between love and discipline.
It takes time and patience but you will get there. They won’t always be dealing with changing hormones.
InshaAllah.
Written by: Aunty Anjum
© The Islamic Reflections Blog
Write to Anjum Ansaar, your personal agony aunt:
dearanjum.a@gmail.com

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