Defiant Teenager – Dealing With The Turn Around

An interesting thing happened on the way to opera last night (just kidding about the opera) – my daughter decided to be defiant. Straight up, in our face “I am going to break your rules”. And when we confronted her, all h-e-double toothpicks broke loose! It was straight out of James Lehman’s Total Transformation chapter on the Turn Around.

She first, sadly in her anger about being called out, put her arm through a wall. Then she did everything in her power to put this on us. “You don’t trust me” seemed to be the most common refrain. When we reiterated that the issue wasn’t trust, it was breaking a rule, she did a bait and switch.

“I hate living here” came flying out next quickly followed up with “I am leaving”. And off she went to her friend’s house, swearing and huffing down the street. We made it clear that if she did not return by 11pm she would be breaking curfew and restated the consequences for that.

After an evening of back and forth from said friend’s house, insisting we write the rules down “right down to what shoes and earrings I can wear”, demanding an apology from us, threatening to not return if we did not immediately change the rule, and a long phone call by us to the friends mom to reassure her we did not kick our daughter out, she finally got it that we weren’t going to budge.

With constant reassurance (she called us at 11pm to give it one more shot) that everyone makes mistakes and glad she is making them at home where we can work through them, that we love her the same as we did always, and home was the best place for her, she broke and had her daddy come get her.

How’d we do it you ask? It took a lot of remembering what we learned, she is a teen who is self-centered in trying to become independent; not to react out of anger at her rude behavior; stay focused on the issue at hand – breaking the rule. The last one helped us mostly stay calm and not head down the defensive rabbit trails she was laying at our feet.

And today business as usual and trust me she tried to see if we are going to be sad and sorry by pushing us a bit. But once she saw that all was status quo, our normally sweet girl returned. Oh yeah, she gets to learn a new skill too, drywalling!

Looking for help with your defiant teenager? Take a look at The Total Transformation by James Lehman today. It works for us!

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