• Handling Challenging Behavior In Teenagers | Christine Abrahams | Episode 162

  • Handling challenging behavior in teensIs your teenager intense? Handling challenging behavior in teenagers can leave parents floundering. We wonder how to help them, how to motivate them, and maybe contemplate whether any discipline will have an impact. Christine Abrahams understands this and helps parents learn how to develop a deep and loving relationship with the most intense child. She talks to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about how to parent our intense teens. This includes children diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and other behavioral, emotional and anxiety related symptoms. Christine talks about how to shift behaviors and build respect. She helps us understand what’s happening and how our parenting may just be fanning the flames of challenging behavior.



    Player FM | iheartradio | Castbox | Podchaser | Overcast

    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Micromanaging our children’s lives sends the message we think they aren’t capable when the reality is we love them and want the best for them.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Handling Challenging Behavior in Teenagers:

    Micromanaging teens can increase challenging behaviorChallenging behavior in teenagers may occur when you have an intense teen. An intense kid is the one who is always pushing the boundaries. They can be labeled as difficult, bad, defiant, or oppositional. They are often spirited, sensitive, or energetic.

    Each of us are intense to a degree and have used it to propel us forward.

    Our kids begin to think, “I’m so intense that I have to have a label. No one can handle me.”

    Take the challenging behavior in teenagers and frame your child’s intensity in a positive light. If they talk in class, comment on their great verbal ability and suggest they might want to try out for the debate team. If they argue everything, comment that their passion is striking and they may want to consider a career as a litigator. You can turn all the negative implications on their head.

    Although parents get frustrated by being challenged, this is a good sign. They really want to connect deeply with parents. They’ve learned this requires breaking the rules.

    Our teens think, “You love me more intensely when I break the rules”. They are great observers of our actions but not such great interpreters of those actions.

    Connection is formed when we recognize our teenager’s greatness.

    Human beings are wired to look for what’s wrong so we notice all the wrong things our kids do. Noticing challenging behavior in teenagers isn’t a reflection on us, it’s a result of our worry for their future.

    Oftentimes our intense kids see themselves as bad, not achieving, and they can’t accept highly positive language. Therefore, you may need to keep it observational as you initially share observations of positive behavior. After a time, you can add onto that and begin shifting to more positive language.

    Micromanaging our children’s lives sends the message we think they aren’t capable when the reality is we love them and want the best for them.

    Our kids can dig in and refuse to change their behavior. In order to counteract this we want to empower our children and help them believe in themselves.

    Trust them enough to talk to them. Go through pros and cons together then let them choose. Allow them to succeed or fail and deal with it.

    Nurtured Heart is a way to work on yourself along with your child.

    Stand 1: I will not energize any negativity. Watch your thoughts and your self-talk. A few strategies to help include:

    • Box breathing—Inhale to the count of 5, hold the breath to the count of 5, exhale to the count of 5, and hold the emptiness to the count of 5. Repeat as needed.
    • Look at your hands then the floor and repeat as needed.
    • Solve math problems. It gives your brain something else to think about.

    When you have a free moment, it’s good to reflect on why you were triggered in order to unearth where it’s coming from. Once we have knowledge we can name the demon. Then, when it comes up again you can can say, “I’m not engaging with you demon”.

    Stand 3: Clear rules and consequences.

    Resetting yourself is taking a moment to get yourself under control. Both parents and teens need the opportunity to calm before returning to a conversation.

    The key to resetting is to come back and converse calmly.

    Yelling, reprimanding, and punishing takes power from kids.

    Parents can never force a teenager to do anything. We just don’t have control over them.

    When parents start making this shift teens may not like it or react unpleasantly. This is new and more intense teens may not be able to accept the positive view of themselves right away. In that case, you can start with simple observations of things they do then move on to more positive language over time.

    If you can acknowledge your own greatness, it can make it easier for our teens to recognize theirs.


    Stop Struggling With Teen Behavior Problems | Wendy Gossett | 150

    Parenting Power Struggles – Tired of Fighting with Your Teen? | Neil D. Brown | Episode 25

    Our Guest Christine Abrahams:

    Christine Abrahams talks about challenging behavior in teenagersChristine Abrahams provides counseling services to adolescents, their parents and adults. She is licensed in New Jersey as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and in Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). She has been practicing for 15 years as both a counselor and as the director of school counseling at a school district in New Jersey.  She has worked with adolescents and their parents to help them cope with a number of issues including anxiety, depression, self-esteem and school issues. 

    She is an Advanced Nurtured Heart Approach®  (NHA) trainer. NHA is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in “The 3 Stands™” for helping children (and adults) build Inner Wealth™ and use their intensity in successful ways. It has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children while facilitating parenting and classroom success. She has trained over 300 parents in the approach.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit www.wholelifehealing.net 

    Show Support:

    Date to Find Your Soulmate: How to Get the Man of Your Dreams Through Strategic and Successful Dating Techniques 

    Sandy Fowler—Struggling to work, volunteer or follow another passion while still loving your family? Sandy Fowler shows you how you can follow your passion while loving your family and do it without guilt and stress. Click here for the free video.