In my practice my favorite population to work with is "out of control" teenaged girls. Mouthy, defiant and oppositional? Great, bring it on!
And here are three tips for dealing with (an enjoying) that mouthy, yelling, back-talking young lady in your life.
First- Keep in mind that there is a difference between a rebel and a renegade. A renegade opposes something based on principle, a rebel opposes just to be oppositional. So sit down with your teenage girl and ask questions about what's going on in her life and her opinions. She might be refusing to attend church, wanting do drop off the softball team or spending time with a different crowd of friends because she is starting to form opinions and preferences of her own. And although you may not agree with her choices, go ahead and pat yourself on the back....because congratulations!... you have raised a child with a mind of her own, and developmentally that's exactly where she should be right now.
Second- Keep in mind that all children/teens have different temperaments. The young lady in your life may just be more out-spoken, more independent and more confrontational then societal norms generally appreciate in women. Think about the great gains our country and world has made because of women who have stood up and fought for what they believed in. Direct her toward leadership positions at school or in the community. You never know..she just might be the next Nancy Pelosi or Coldoleezza Rice.
Third- Ignore Ego. When you are confronted by your teenage girl in an unpleasant or nasty way, watch the feelings arise within you and notice that you can choose to react to them or ignore them. It is important to set boundaries and consistent consequences for this behavior but DO NOT personalize it or become critical of her. Part of her job as a teen is to test boundaries. The more consistent and non-reactive you are the less she has to rebel against.
*If your teen is practicing high-risk behaviors i.e. unsafe sex, frequent drug use, gang affiliation; if you suspect she has been a victim of abuse or exhibits odd behaviors please seek professional advice.
You can call for a free consultation