Most everyone who’s ever been a teenager learns at some point how to irritate their parents to distraction. From eye-rolling to back-talking, teens have a seemingly endless supply of habits that push their parents' buttons. Recently, Empowering Parents asked our readers what the most annoying teen behaviors were, and the answers came pouring in from frustrated parents all over North America. Here, James Lehman, MSW helps you deal with eye-rolling, number 7 on the EP list of “Top Annoying Teen Behaviors.”
Eye-rolling is a piece of cake to deal with. Like all annoying behaviors, it is meant to accomplish two things: It’s a little rebellious, and is also somewhat “power-challenging.” In either case, ignoring it is the perfect solution. Many parents feel that when kids roll their eyes, they’re being disrespectful or somehow challenging their authority. I say, “So what?” If you acknowledge eye-rolling and argue about it, you’re giving your child power he didn’t earn by being productive. The simple answer? Don’t acknowledge it. I guarantee you that if you ignore eye-rolling it will either go away or become comical to you. I suggest you say what you have to say to your kids, and then don’t wait for the eye-rolling. If you’re in a conversation where eyes are being rolled, just keep focusing on what you want to communicate. Like many annoying behaviors, it’s harmless, and the best way to deal with harmless, annoying behaviors is to ignore them.