It's no secret that teens can get under their parents’ skins. But while a teen's annoying behavior is often an attempt to get his own way, sometimes teens behave the way they do to get their parents’ attention and love, notes family psychologist David Swanson in an article for WebMD. Although it's not always easy, it’s essential that parents not allows their teens to wear them down. The key is to find a way to connect despite your teen’s conduct. Bear in mind, too, that being annoying is normal behavior for teens.
Focus on the behavior not the teen. No matter how frustrated you get by your teen’s words, actions or attitude, refrain from overreacting. Sometimes, it can be difficult separating your teen's behavior from his personality. In an article published on the Empowering Parents website, child behavioral therapist, James Lehman cautions that you can’t take what your teen says and does personally -- because if you do, you could end up not liking him. It helps to keep your own emotions in check as you strive to keep things in perspective.
Identify what’s behind the behavior. Try to establish a relaxed rapport to start talking with your teen. Once you successfully engage your teen in casual conversation, she might feel more comfortable talking to you about the things that bother her. Give her your full, undivided attention as you listen. This will help her feel like what she’s saying matters to you. Taking her seriously shows that you care.
Establish clear boundaries for what you consider as acceptable behavior -- and unacceptable behavior. Make certain that your teen understands what it is you expect from him. Although your teen might act like he’s not keen on the rules you set, the KidsHealth website points out that teens whose parents don’t establish defined expectations when it comes to behavior and grades often feel like their parents don’t care. Let your teenager know that you'll always be there for him no matter what -- even when you don't like his behavior.
Save your battles for the really serious issues. A teen’s use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco are reasons for major concern. If it’s a matter of the clothes she wants to wear or dying her hair black, don’t make more of it than it is -- a teenager’s attempt to assert her individuality. In an article for Empowering Parents, Janet Lehman, a social worker who has worked with troubled children and teens, notes that sometimes it pays to ignore minor misbehavior. This way, you can focus your attention to a more pressing situation like one that involves your teen's safety.
Appreciate that your teen deserves some privacy. Unless he gives you reason for worry, your teen needs to know that you trust him, according to the KidsHealth website. Chances are he’ll be less annoying if you give him some space. You can also gain favor with your teen by being receptive to his friends.