Have Questions? 877-282-4782

Identify Your Controlling Behaviors

dad and teenage daughter balancing on a fence

Just like your teen has behaviors that push your buttons and lead to difficulties in your relationship, as a parent you likely have some behaviors that sabotage the relationship you what with your teen. These behaviors are called controlling behaviors and while they sometimes might be effective at motivating your teen, more often than not they are driving your teen away and hurting your relationship.

10 Controlling Behaviors

When your teen acts out by rebelling, abusing substances, skipping school, acting out violently, or being sexually promiscuous, you may feel powerless and frustrated. As a result, you may end up trying to motivate your teen by using controlling behaviors.

These relationship-damaging behaviors are:

  1. Criticizing
  2. Blaming
  3. Complaining
  4. Nagging
  5. Threatening
  6. Punishing
  7. Bribing
  8. Playing the victim
  9. Ignoring
  10. Minimizing

You can do relationship damage control by paying attention to the controlling behaviors you use in your relationship with your teen, and how that affects him/her and you. This will help you make changes where necessary.

Identify Your Controlling Behaviors

The controlling behaviors outlined above can sabotage the relationship you want with your teen. Identify your controlling behaviors by copying the chart below. This will help you recognize when you use these behaviors so you can stop using them and focus on building a healthy relationship instead. After you’ve identified your controlling behaviors, what will you do differently? Remember, you can’t control your teen’s thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. You can, however, control your own. Keep that in mind as you complete the exercise.

Ways I Control and Sabotage When I Use it to Try and Motivate My Teen How My Teen Responds
Playing the Victim

Other Related Resources