Is your teen entering their challenge period and you're feeling distraught? Our advice to stay zen in all circumstances.

Teenage crisis

Traditionally described as an obligatory passage from childhood to adulthood, the crisis of adolescence raises many questions, even a certain apprehension among parents. The "teen crisis" is above all a natural phenomenon: the physical and psychological metamorphosis of your child, between the ages of 13 and 18, is one of the major upheavals of adolescence. The morpho-psychological transformations initiated at puberty become clearer and assert themselves visibly. Body hair, voice change, sore nipples... for the boy; chest, hips, hairiness... in girls. The personality is also subject to transformation. Rebellious and extroverted or on the contrary erased and withdrawn, the personality of teenagers conditions different reactions to the anxiety that becoming an adult can represent for them. Learning to manage one's desires, particularly sexual ones, one's emotionality and impulsiveness, but also the contradictions between economic and emotional dependence on the family and the desire to emancipate oneself from it, constitute so many unconscious ordeals to which adolescents do not. not all give the same answer. So how do you react to a slightly rebellious teenager?

1 - Set clear boundaries

 Teenagers need to make their parents react to share their difficult times, but also to annoy them. By provoking them, they verify that they still really care about him. “In fact, he expects from his parents a kind of acknowledgment of his excesses and provocations” summarizes the guide “Survival manual for parents of teenagers who are freaking out”.
 But does your child have the right to go out late at night or slam the door to their room? It is up to you to define the words and actions that you find unacceptable.

2 - Put into perspective

In the same way that a baby explores the world around him by sucking on his toys or touching everything he finds, a teenager needs to test his limits, even if it means playing the daredevil and systematically opposing to his parents. Families are often worried about their children and impose prohibitions accordingly: not to smoke, not to drink, not to come home after midnight... But these prohibitions, which are made to reassure the parents, will probably be transgressed, as much as the know in advance and make up your mind. "Whether those around you like it or not, adolescents inevitably come up against risk and transgression, much like insects are attracted to light. The path to autonomy is through examination, exploration and putting into practice the resources of his body and his mind

3 - Listen to him while remaining firm

 You forbade your teenager to go out and since then he has been giving you a hard time? Know how to stay firm. “It is necessary to prohibit certain behaviors and to stick to them despite the battering and the bitterness, to defend a position in a firm and coherent way, even if it means looking like a dinosaur”. However, standing firm does not mean standing tight. "This should not prevent you from listening to your child. Listening to his arguments does not necessarily mean saying yes

4 - Renouncing to be perfect

 Dealing well with the crisis of adolescence also means recognizing that one has the right to be helpless, to not have the right conduct. Françoise Rougeul, psychoanalyst and family therapist, reassures: "Being perfect parents is almost impossible to do. It would even be dramatic. If you have a clear and preconceived image of what your role is, then you will be too strict , apart from reality. Parents make adaptation errors and in this case, it is better to admit it to your teenager. You can very well tell him "listen, we do what we can, we don't understand everything , but we try".

5 - Respect your privacy

 While it is clear that parents should lay down clear rules, it should not be overdone by trying to regulate all his actions and words. At the risk of exposing yourself "for sure, to an explosive rebellion" warns the book "Survival Manual". Some topics, including love and sexuality, are tricky. Your teenager has the right to respect for his privacy, think about it before making comments about his boyfriend or forcing him to an appointment with the gynecologist...

 6 - Accept having the wrong role

 Teenagers sometimes take malicious pleasure in making fun of their parents, pointing out their faults or their slightest errors. Remarks difficult to accept from the one who said to you a little while ago "you are the most beautiful mother in the world". Things have changed and that's good! Accepting not to be fashionable, not to share his opinions, it's good for him! "Adolescents want to stand out and have easy criticism. (...) You are not of his generation; he needs to hear it and feel it.

7 - Show her your love

 Teens are going through a tough time and need your attention and support. Even if your child has made a big mistake, don't reduce it to his act. "A young person who acts in a detestable way must be sanctioned, but above all not banned. An end of inadmissibility on the heart and dialogue side would be a serious error." warn the authors of the "Survival Handbook for Parents of Lost Teenagers".

 8 - Remember that it's a passing fancy

 For 80% of teenagers, the teenage crisis is going well. Only 20% are in danger, according to Françoise Rougeul. Keep in mind that this phase will resolve quickly and don't imagine the worst. However, if your child combines several symptoms (school failure + sadness + withdrawal), it is important to consult professionals to prevent the situation from getting worse.

9 - Help him find his balance in a blended family

 What about teenage crisis in a blended family? For Françoise Rougeul, "it is more complex, because to the "normal" crisis is added a problem of space, lost, and to be reinvented. For example, when an elder finds himself a youngest in the blended family. same, that if the parents have found an affective balance, the children adapt and are doing well. high chances that the teenager will be held hostage in the conflict between the ex-spouses.When a teenager is in crisis with his stepfather or stepmother, it should be checked that the other parent does not say no harm from this person.More generally, if the conjugal couple is destroyed, the parents must build a parental couple that respects the loyalty that the children feel in relation to their father and their mother... Ask a teenager to take sides for one, therefore to choose between his father and his mother is to put him in a conflict of loyalties that can only hurt him."

 10 - Stay patient and consistent

 The teenager is an expert in contradictory demands, you have to take care of him without watching him, understand him but respect his mystery... it's an impossible mission! Besides, if the parents were perfect, wouldn't the teenager risk being a prisoner of a paradisiacal family that he would have no desire to leave? On the other hand, what parents can do, while trying to understand and adapt, is to maintain a form of consistency. If you are a rather "normative" family and overnight you become very lax, the teenager will lose his bearings, he will no longer understand anything. But if I insist that there are no "good parents". This term implies that you have a clear and preconceived image of your role. You then run the risk of missing out on the reality experienced by your teenager and ... of becoming bad parents.