10 Tips on how to be assertive with teenagers


bored teenagers

Is the following happening to you?

You’re becoming increasingly tired of repeating yourself

You’re fed-up because you’re doing everything

You’re feeling taken for granted

You either suppress your anger or you lose your temper at the smallest thing

You say to yourself I don’t know how much longer this can continue

Follow the steps below to learn how to be assertive with teenagers

1. Adopt an assertive mind-set

‘A good parent/teacher is someone who encourages children to grow up responsibly’

‘Making children responsible prepares them for life’

‘Being firm, fair and consistent will get me more respect’

2. Give yourself permission to act assertively

I have the right to agree expectations and have them met

I have the right to develop children’s life skills

I have the right to be helped

3. Consider some win:win outcomes

The kids can grow up to be more independent and better prepared for life: I can take some credit for that

The kids aren’t nagged over small matters: I don’t lose my temper

Jobs are more equitably shared: I feel more valued

4. Decide to listen

When they speak show acknowledgement without interrupting because that’s the first thing we fail to do when we want to be assertive with teenagers

5. Clarify your expectations

‘At the moment what’s going on doesn’t work for me. I’d like everyone to be pulling their weight when they get home and share household chores, particularly with the washing and the ironing. In future, if you get home before me and there’s washing in the machine please hang it up.’

5. Encourage and invite a response

‘I think that’s fair how do you feel about that?’

6. Show empathy

‘I know you’ve have a long day at school and the match this afternoon was tough. I still need your help getting things done’

7. If things don’t change

‘We previously discussed that when you get home you’d sort out the washing. It’s still sitting in the machine, I’d like you to do what we agreed.’

8. If you get resistance 

‘We’ve had a number of conversations and you did agree to help out. However when I get home I find you sitting in front of the T.V.and the washing’s still in the machine, I feel angry and let down. I’d like you to do what we agreed. ‘

9. Explain the consequences

‘If you continue to refuse to help, I’ll have to cut your pocket money. I don’t want to do that so please start helping out in future as we discussed.’

10. Praise the behaviour you want

When they do what you ask, acknowledge it and give praise and let them know how it has helped

‘James thanks for sorting the washing. it meant that I could get on with the dinner so that we didn’t have to gulp our food before I took you to cricket practise’

Consistently catch them doing ‘good’ things if you want to develop your skills in how to be more assertive with teenagers.

photo credit: orangeacid via photopin cc

One Response to “10 Tips on how to be assertive with teenagers”

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  1. Subhash Muneshwar says:

    Excellent approach. This will make children feel that they and their contributions are important. Also this is setting the stage for role plays in later life.

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