Teens are a lot like toddlers. They have very short attention spans, they can be easily distracted by their surroundings and they have limited impulse control. The parenting challenges that come with parenting a toddler are amplified when parenting a strong-willed teenager. Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t need to be stressful or overwhelming if you know how to handle your teen’s behavior in the right way! In this post, we will discuss 10 different tactics for parenting a strong-willed teen.
What is a strong-willed teenager?
A strong-willed teenager is a teenager who has strong opinions and needs that are not always in line with the parenting styles they have grown up around. They may have a difficult time understanding the parenting style that you are trying to implement and may resist change.
Characteristics of a Strong-Willed Teen
- High intelligence
- High self-esteem
- Poor impulse control
- Rarely listens
- Whiny and self-pitying
How do you know if you have a strong-willed teenager?
Your teen might be exhibiting some of these behaviors if she is strong-willed:
- Gives you the silent treatment
- Deliberately disobeys house rules
- Expresses anger when they don’t get what they want
- Argues with parents and authority figures
- Is often sullen, moody
- Gets poor grades in school
- Is stubborn and uncooperative
How to Discipline a Strong-Willed Teen
Discipline is a parenting strategy that helps your teen learn what you want them to do and avoid doing things they shouldn’t. It’s important for teens to be disciplined in order to grow up successfully, so parenting with discipline doesn’t always mean punishment.
- Learn Your Teen’s Triggers: What sets off the strong-willed teenager? What are their triggers? Once you know what sets off your teen, you will be able to identify when they need discipline and how best to handle the situation.
- Create a Plan: Figure out which parenting strategies work for disciplining a strong-willed teenager based on these guidelines
- Avoid yelling in order to avoid angering them more
- Use consequences that match the seriousness of the offense
- Reward behaviors you want to encourage with incentives and praise
Realize parenting takes time, patience, and consistency. Don’t be frustrated if your parenting seems ineffective at times! The best way to raise a strong-willed teen is by remaining calm during any parenting dilemma. You are more likely to get your teen to cooperate if you keep a level head.
10 Tips to Proactively Raise Great Strong-Willed Teens
Set strong boundaries for
Boundaries are an important cornerstone for parenting a strong-willed teenager. Your teen is likely to push back against parenting styles that they have not seen before, and you need to set limits for them so they know what behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable.
Give plenty of power
Teens need some autonomy. Give them power so they feel as if they are in control and can make decisions for themselves. When they have the freedom to make some choices, they are less likely to rebel when you need them to cooperate.
Make connection a priority
Build a relationship with your teen. When parenting a strong-willed teenager, it’s important to create connections with them and show that you respect their opinions even when they are different from yours.
Prioritize effective communication
Communication is another critical component of parenting teens. Be clear and direct when parenting a strong-willed teenager. They will be more likely to cooperate if they know what you want them to do.
Listening skills are also important. Listening is essential in parenting, and strong-willed teenagers can be difficult to listen to. Be patient when parenting your teen.
Say “No” to Power Struggles
Power struggles are difficult at any age, but teens are especially stubborn. When your teen wants to engage in a power struggle, don’t engage with them. Power struggles are a waste of both time and energy, so parenting your teen is more effective if you refuse to participate in one!
Limit house rules
Create house rules only when you need them. If you try to control every aspect of your teen’s life, you risk making them feel resentful. Instead, create a set of rules that are necessary and reasonable for your parenting situation.
Make family meals a priority
Studies show that sharing dinner as a family will improve your parenting experience and help you raise a strong-willed teen. Share family meals, even if it’s just once or twice a week! Teens who eat dinner with their families are more likely to feel connected, which will motivate them to cooperate with parenting.
Strictly monitor and limit screens
The digital dangers are real for teens. Limit the time your teen spends on screens, and make sure they are watching age-appropriate media. Digital influences could be contributing to your teens’ strong-willed tendencies, so it’s important to monitor what they are watching and how much time they spend on screens.
Perfect the art of compromise
It can be difficult parenting a strong-willed teenager, but it is possible with the right mindset. Compromise is often necessary when parenting teenagers. If you can meet in the middle, they will feel heard, and you will both be satisfied.
Encourage Connections with Mentors and Coaches
There may be times where your teens need to discuss issues with someone outside your situation. That’s ok! Make sure they have connections with mentors and coaches who can help them through difficult situations. Encourage them to build relationships with good role models so they will feel safe talking to them.
Follow Expert Parenting Bloggers
You’re not alone in your parenting struggles! Follow expert parenting bloggers and you’ll quickly learn actionable tips and tricks that actually work. Find a couple of parenting bloggers you identify with and follow them on social media. You’ll feel better about your parenting in no time!
The Bottom Line
Parenting a strong-willed teenager may seem like an impossible task, but it’s not as hard as you might think! With these parenting tips and tricks for raising great teens in 2021, parents can maintain connections with their teens while still enforcing boundaries. Remember that your adolescent is only a teen for a short time and your parenting strategy will pay off in the long run.
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.