Because I realize many people now read these on their phones, I’ve vowed to make them shorter. Therefore, you’ll be getting one Difficult Teen at a time – in 250 words or fewer.
The Crab Pots
What they do
When I was young, my mom would ask, “Why are you such a crab pot today?” This never failed to cheer me up. Yeah, right – it made me crabbier. Cranky teens don’t want to be cheered up; they’d rather wallow in their crabbiness. Because their fuses are short, you may not have any idea of what you did that set them off; all you know is, they’re snapping their claws at you again.
How to handle them
Stay out of their way when you can. You can’t make them happy, so don’t try. Use empathy, but don’t let them manipulate you or anyone else with their moods. Dealing with bad moods is a life skill, so teach them how to handle theirs. Try something like, “Sounds like you’re having a rough day. Is there something I can do, or do you just need some time alone with your loud music?” Encourage them to take a timeout until it passes. Just let them know you still love them, no matter how crabby they are!
One day, they will return the favor when it’s your turn to be a Crab Pot.