Is constant eye-rolling and lip-smacking driving you up the wall? You may have anticipated challenges with your teen, but those ‘You make me sick!’ shouts were not yet on your radar. Your little sweetheart now seems to be a hard-headed adolescent and is about to drive you into a debt trap of emotions. But not so soon. Here are some useful ideas to help the both of you go through this tumultuous period and hopefully bond more.
1. Show Empathy
Anger can be explained as a teenager’s reaction to something that has happened or what the teen believes should or should have happened. For instance, they’ll likely get upset if they studied for their end-of-year exam but failed. As a parent, offer empathy.
Try to understand where your child’s anger is coming from by talking to them. That way, you’ll validate their feelings, which is anger. As you talk with your teen, express that you understand their frustration.
2. Practice Taking Timeouts
During that discussion about failing the exam, your teen may get overwhelmed and probably cry or lose his cool. As a parent, step back and allow your child some time to breathe during such heated moments. Let them understand that taking time and processing such intense emotions is okay.
Doing so is important because reacting in the heat of emotions can cause regrettable actions, such as physically hitting someone. Even if not intentional, it can result in some serious consequences. According to criminaldefenselawyer.com, in Tennessee, Aggravated Assault qualifies as a C felony that attracts at least a 3-year sentence, depending on your criminal history.
3. Teach Anger Processing Skills
You’re the grown-up in this situation. Arm yourself with effective life skills that can help you neutralize your anger. As the parent of a teen, the best thing you can do is lead by example. Don’t bang tables and doors to show your displeasure.
When angry, excuse yourself and maybe take a walk or shoot a basketball. Then, when you’re feeling better, you can sit down and talk about the upsetting situation. This way, you can intentionally transfer these skills to your child and demonstrate how to work through difficult emotions. Your teen can find their coping techniques, such as journaling or listening to music, and practice them over and over.
4. Investigate Further
Though anger is the expressed emotion, there is much more than meets the eye. Your teen could be trying to cope with guilt or shame due to other hidden issues. According to chop.edu, even at age 5, some 15% of children are still bedwetters.
When teens are experiencing depression, they will be self-critical, irritable, and angry. You’ll need to find out which other emotions are propelling his anger. With that information, you can better help your child deal with the root cause rather than the outward symptoms of his anger.
5. Boost Your Teen’s Confidence
Adolescents are extremely conscious of their looks. They’re mostly preoccupied with their appearances and how to change them. As a parent, you’ll do well to be their friend and work with what they prefer.
They’re likely to be cooperative when you show that you care about their looks, too. During your visit to the dentist, let them choose the braces they’re comfortable with. In a report by PR NewsWire, 47% of teens who had Invisalign teen braces felt a boost of self-esteem during treatment. This is compared to just 22% of teens fitted with metal braces.
Your relationship with your child is significant. You must do everything in your power to be close to your child. Boosting their confidence is one way to achieve this. Don’t underestimate your capacity to embarrass your child, even by throwing around remarks you assume are normal. Set basic standards for handling anger in your home. They should give all family members a space to express themselves in a safe environment.
Although anger is normal, take the initiative to teach your teen how to deal with it healthily. You don’t want them getting into trouble for experiencing normal human emotions. Use the tips in this read for a start.