Avoid getting into an argument with your troubled teen
Understand that you can never win the fight though you may be convinced you are right. This is no time to prove that you know best as no teen would ever admit to being at fault. Nor would she ever confess that she is wrong and apologise even if she secretly regrets her mistake. The trick is not to ever force her to do so - it just won`t work!
Don`t ever have too high or too low expectations of your teen
High expectations will make your teen decide that you are expecting the impossible and she would simply give up even trying, while low expectations will make her lose all confidence in herself and make her think that she is incapable of success. Always strike a middle path.
Never make demands - try to tone it down to just a suggestion
Tell a teen to do something and the answer is almost always a "No". Remember that she is on the threshold of adulthood and is trying to come to terms with it. She is trying to become independent and resents any sign of control. Instead try asking her. For example, challenging your teen to get better grades will have a better effect than telling her to perform better because you expect it of her.
Avoid unnecessary battles. Choose your battles wisely
It is definitely more important to make your teen kick a bad habit than it is to force her to make her bed. So, there is no point in screaming at her for trivial things - it only makes the serious issues appear irrelevant.
Sure, you can ask questions all the time - but don`t ever force answers
Do that and you will find your teen showing withdrawal symptoms. Wait for a reasonable time and you will find her opening up to you on her own. And remember to listen when she does so and never, ever, resort to criticising her.
Give your teen some space and the right to privacy
Remember, your teen is not your property - she is your responsibility. She needs room to grow and blossom as does everything else.
Of course, your teen will make mistakes and nothing you do can prevent that. But she will learn from those very mistakes on her own. Don`t ever crow over her mistakes with a "I told you so" or "I knew this would happen". Instead, just be there for her when she needs your support. Your strong, understanding and silent support will do more for her than your recriminations. In fact, you will be surprised at how much you have learnt from the situation as an adult!