What can you do when your teen has "learned the system" so to speak and threatens you at every turn to call C.P.S.?
Our 15 year old seems to only be getting bigger and more cunning. We have dealt with 2 C.P.S. investigations which were dismissed, yet they took their toll of my marriage and life. I can honestly say that I am at wits end. Help!
When teens call the cops on the parent, it is always the case that parent & child are in a power struggle. And unfortunately, the kid usually wins in the end simply because he/she has very little to lose relative to the parent.
Power struggles can create frustration, anger and resentment on the part of the parent and the teen. Resentment can cause a further breakdown of communication until it seems as if all you do is argue with your teen.
In order to end such arguments, it must be the parent that begins to take charge in a positive way. However, the most effective step, to simply stop arguing, can also be the most difficult. It sounds quite simple, just stop arguing, but in reality, it takes discipline and effort to change the pattern of behavior.
By refusing to participate in the argument, the power of the "out-of-control" teen disappears. The teen only continues to have power over you if you allow him to.
To stop the power struggle, prepare yourself ahead of time. Sit down, after your kid is in bed for the night and it is quiet, and make a list of the times that you most often argue. Is it getting ready for school, doing homework, completing chores, getting ready for bed, etc?
For each situation, determine a few choices that you can give your teen. When preparing the choices, make sure to list only those that you are willing to carry out. If, for example, you are not willing to pick up your kids and bring them to school in their pajamas, don’t threaten to or they will know that they still have control of the situation.
Once you have decided on the choices you will give your teen, stick to them and practice your self-control to not yell. Walk away, leave the room, and wait outside if you have to. But an argument can only happen if there is more than one person. With just one person, it is simply a temper tantrum.
I hope this helps!