Dealing with an angsty teen

Dealing with an angsty teen

What if I sense that my child is angry? How could I deal with him or her? These questions made me look further about the subject and I discovered the following tips that parents can implement.

Dealing with an angsty teen

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One day, I overheard a teenager tell his friends “I am really angry with my parents! They are fighting again. Every time I see them together, they fight. I don’t like staying at home.” He looked angry and upset. I could relate to his anger.

When I was a teenager, I was also angry with my parents and I was a poster child for teenage angst. I think my mother had a difficult time dealing with me way back then. And now that I am a parent, I meet parents whose usual concern is how to handle their angry teenagers. I hear them complaining because they cannot understand their kids. This must be a concern of most parents who have youngsters at home.

What if I sense that my child is angry? How could I deal with him or her? These questions made me look further about the subject and I discovered the following tips that parents can implement.

1. Understand the psychology of your child’s stage. The adolescence stage is a turbulent stage and a difficult time for teens. This is a time when your child experiences identity confusion. It is not a question whether he is a boy or a girl but it has something to do with the role he or she is going to play. He or she is often confused: Am I old enough to act like this or too young to act in a certain manner? As a parent, you need to understand, guide and support your growing child. Understand that his or her hormones make him or her experience mood swings. Thus, your teen easily gets frustrated and angry.

2. Determine your child’s “teachable moments.” Giving a lecture when he or she is irritated, does not calm him or her down. Instead, wait for the best time when your child is not upset before you talk with him or her. It should be a neutral moment when you and your child can sit down and talk without being angry. Tell your child that you are not going to criticize or judge him or her but you want to listen and understand his or her feelings. Let him or her know that whatever you discuss will be kept confidential. In this way, your child will feel comfortable and will open up to you.

3. Uncover the reason of your child’s anger. It will be helpful if you will know why your child is angry. This can be done by asking your child about the reasons for his or her anger. What your teen says may not be fully true but there is at least some truth to it. You do not have to agree with them but you can listen and show them that you care. There are various reasons that your teen might be angry. He might feel being criticized or treated unfairly by someone. There might also be a threat against his or her life that you are unaware of. It could also be that your own behaviour has caused his or her anger. There might be a lot more. But whatever you discover, seek to resolve it together.

4. Keep communication lines open. Your youngster will more likely talk to you about his or her feelings when you do not manifest a judgmental attitude and when you welcome his or her initiative to open up to you. Open communication will significantly strengthen your relationship. Moreover, when you have a discussion, always remember to listen more and to talk less. In this way, your teen has more time to say what he or she wants to reveal.

5. Be supportive of your teen. Your teen might become moody or easily irritated because of frustration in what he or she has failed to accomplish. Show your support to him or her by encouraging him or her to try again or to look for another activity which he or she can do best or can easily achieve. If he or she asks for advice, then be ready to provide it. However, do not give unsolicited advice for this might irritate your child further.

Dealing with an angsty teen

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6. Spend family time together. Make it a habit to spend time with the whole family at least during meal times. It could also be done once in a week inside or outside the house. When children are used to talking about their feelings, you can easily detect anger and deal with it promptly.

7. Give some space to your teenager. Though you might have tried to talk your teenager out of his feelings of anger, he or she may still want to spend time on his or her own. Then let him or her do as he or she pleases. If your teenager chooses to talk to a friend or to another person, then allow it. It would be good for your child to learn and discover how to handle his or her anger in his or her own way. It might more beneficial for him or her. Just assure your child that you will be there for him or her.

The key to all these actions that parents like me can do is to be patient. We’ve got to patiently wait until our teens are able to adjust to the stage in their life which causes them to feel mood swings and fits of anger. We’ve got to also patiently deal with them during the times that they are not in the mood. The adolescence stage is a time when your teen needs your love the most.

Other teen related issues:

Teen sells body for dinner and drinks

Signs of teen drug abuse

Handling a troubled teen: A family contract

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Written by

Karen Mira

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