I hope your weekend is going well and that you are enjoying the warmer weather if you are in a part of the country that is unseasonably warm. With this inconsistency in the weather, the flowers don’t know what to do! I have tulips that are starting to pop up while a Christmas cactus is still blooming! The flowers don’t know what they “should” be doing because the weather is sending them mixed messages right now. They will struggle to bloom, blossom and grow to their fullest and brightest potential when the weather is so inconsistent because it is not “guiding” them in what they should be doing.
This is the same for teenagers – they will struggle to bloom, blossom and grow to their fullest and brightest potential when parenting is inconsistent. They tell you they hate it, but they like and need consistency and structure. They need to have things fairly predictable (whether they are things they like or dislike). They need to know what to expect from you (you can’t one day let them get away with something and then the next day tell them it is not OK). If you are co-parenting, they need you and their other parent to be consistent with one another. They need to know that you will follow through with consequences each and every time when they do something they are not supposed to. The more consistency you can bring to their lives, the better.
Teens have a lot coming at them at once. They are dealing with social pressure, academic pressure and all the new feelings that come with adolescence. They often feel insecure, mixed up and confused because of how they are feeling and potentially because of the mixed message they get from friends who one week like them and the next week ostracize them. They NEED you to be predictable and consistent. Even when they are not in agreement with a consequence you may give them or with a rule you have established – it is better to be consistent than to change the rules or make things up as you go. If at your house it is expected that everyone have dinner together 5 nights a week then make sure that happens every week. If at your house, the kids need to be in bed by 10pm without TV and computer and phone on then make sure this happens every single night.
Being consistent with your teen will not only help them bloom, blossom and grow – it will also help you have a plan and structure for your own day and will result in your teenager testing your limits much less!