What to do when you feel rejected by your teen
Are you feeling rejected by your teen and even believe they hate you? For many mothers, this situation has turned into a long, sobbing nightmare. What do you do when your sweet, generally dutiful child seems to withdraw from you, become resentful and distant? You can't understand why she's rebelling against values and social norms that you have instilled in her for the past sixteen, seventeen years of her life.
The experts maintain that teen rebellion and ‘separation’ from parents is a way of life and forms a natural part of self-realization and growing up.
Understanding the ‘Why’ in your teen’s changing behavior
Various factors, such as finding their independence, acceptance, control, and self-determination, are primary determinants of these changes. However, teens are also dealing with changing hormones and adolescent brain development. This is a complex topic that many parents don't know much about nor understand. It makes it even harder to maintain a healthy relationship with your teen and keep your sanity during this trying period.
At this stage of their development friends and peers become all-important while even the most loving parents don’t play a pivotal role in their teen’s life anymore. Attempts to change the situation through arguments and tears of frustration will only add more strain and distance to your relationship with your teen.
Once you understand the ‘why’ in your teen’s attitude and behavioral changes, you won’t take their need for separation personally and internalize it as rejection. Most importantly, don’t allow self-doubt and fear to enter your mind, causing you to think you’ve been a bad parent.
A scripture you can personalize that will squash anxious thoughts is Isaiah 54: 13, “ All (my) children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.”
How to respond when your teen seems to reject you
· Don’t take it personally it is not about you.
· Model the compassion and respect you’d want from your teen. It makes it easier to teach them that while their feelings are okay, nasty behavior and insults are not.
· Is your personality intimidating your child? Calm, reassuring tones can go a long way in getting your teen to open up to you. If you come across as too loud or aggressive, you will push them away.
· Respect healthy boundaries and don’t allow fear to control your actions. As hard as it may sound, we sometimes need to let our kids be without wanting to control them out of our fears rooted in our past when we grew up.
· While kids need boundaries, keep them realistic to show you’re giving your teen the respect and space they deserve to develop naturally.
· Continue your parenting role unobtrusively but be familiar with your teen’s friends, their progress (or struggles) at school, and weekend activities.
· Don’t feel angry or rejected if your teen turns to another adult as their confidante. Again, it does not reflect negatively on you or your parenting abilities.
· Teens need a trustworthy person to help them navigate uncertain, sometimes frightening, new terrain into adulthood. This pressure and vulnerability can cause them to isolate or become depressed.
· It is essential that a parent keep the lines of communication open. If you’re walking on eggshells after conflict, it accomplishes absolutely nothing. Work hard on continued communication and maintaining your bond with your child every day.
· It's the small things that make a big difference. It’s not only words but our actions that can reach the heart of our teens, like buying her favorite snack or cooking her ‘comfort’ meal once a week. A deed out of love and compassion can cause a shift in a tense atmosphere and bring light into the situation.
The best gift you can give your child
During this critical period of their development, the best you can do for your child is to give her your unconditional love, understanding and trust. Do everything within your means to win the heart of your teen. As a loving parent, you'd still want to be allowed the privilege of pouring valuable truths into your child without her viewing it with suspicion.
As a Christian mom, your prayers for God’s protection and guidance for your teen will prove to be much more effective than hostile arguments because God understands and loves your ‘rebellious’ teen more than you will ever know.
You can prayerfully personalize Phil.1:6 as you remind God of His promise, “I am confident of this, that God who began a good work in (your teen’s name), will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God’s word is powerful and as a parent, you can claim His promises for your teen and pray them back to Him with confidence.
Feeling rejected by your teen whom you’ve loved and nurtured from the womb can be the most painful emotion for a mom. I know it can also feel like you’re losing something precious that fulfilled you as a human being and a mother.
If you are feeling rejected by your teen’s changed attitude and behavior towards you, don’t retaliate with hurtful words. As a parent, I have had to deal with the same pain and had to learn many valuable lessons from the experience. I can help learn how to cope with your negative emotions, and help you transition into a more calm state.
Book a Free 20-minute appointment today so that we can get to know one another. I want to help you restore and enjoy a loving relationship with your teen- but on a different level.
Click on the link below to schedule your appointment.
See you soon,