1. Superiority - these teens must be the best at everything
2. Conformity - Living up completely to the standards of established society
3. Popularity - these teens accumulate as many friends and social contacts as possible.
4. Defiance - these teens want to be in control or at least not controlled by adults
5. Sexual promiscuity - these teens are highly active and defiant about their sexual behavior
6. Inadequacy - these teens enjoy the victim role and seek consolation for their shortcomings
7. Charm - these teens use smooth talk and pleasing manners
8. Physical beauty or strength - these teenagers rely completely on their good looks, physical strength or abilities
9. Sexism - these teens become overly stereotypical masculine or feminine
10. Intellectuality - these teens value intelligence and study, read or discuss ideas most of the time
11. Hyperreligiosity - these teens immerse themselves in religious ideas and activities. All they talk about are religious ideas.
The overarching goal for teenagers is to make the adult in charge look stupid. Therefore, it is important to not be sucked into this game. Power struggles rarely work in interactions with teenagers. Teenagers will challenge and if you respond in an authoritarian manner, it won't work.
A key sentence to remember in dealing with teenagers is this:
RULES WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP LEADS TO REBELLION
What teenagers need more than anything from their parents is an honest, loving relationship. To just mete out punishment for infractions won't go far in building a relationship with them.
Let me ask you a few questions:
1. Do you spend time alone with your teenager doing something that s/he wants to do?
2. Do you show an interest in things that interest him/her?
3. Are the consequences of behavior logical? For example, when caught speeding, does s/he lose car privileges or do you ban him/her from the computer? The consequences of behavior need to be logical. In other words, the consequences need to relate to the infraction.
4. Most importantly, are you a consistent Christian? Teens can spot phoniness a mile away. If you say one thing and do another, they will be turned off. If you have "hidden" behaviors, they know it. If they don't know it and then find out later, your integrity is down the tubes.
5. Do you live a life of openness and humility? Do they see you apologize to people when you are clearly wrong?
6. Do they see you respect everyone no matter who they are?
7. Do they see you love their mother?
These are just some simple steps to get you on your right foot with your teenager. Think about these seven questions.
BE A MAN.