Added: Tawnia Lansford - Date: 30.12.2021 17:33 - Views: 17647 - Clicks: 8573
Sometimes it may be hard to believe, but no, your teenager is not an alien being from a distant planet. But they are wired differently. Your teen may be taller than you and seem mature in some respects, but often they are simply unable to think things through on an adult level. Hormones produced during the physical changes of adolescence can further complicate things. Understanding adolescent development can help you find ways to stay connected to your teen and overcome problems together. No matter how much your teen seems to withdraw from you emotionally, no matter how independent your teen appears, or how troubled your teen becomes, they still need your attention and to feel loved by you.
Teens differ from adults in their ability to read and understand emotions in the faces of others. Adults use the prefrontal cortex to read emotional cues, but teenagers rely on the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for emotional reactions. Research shows that teens often misread facial expressions; when shown pictures of adult faces expressing different emotions, teens most often interpreted them as being angry. As teenagers begin to assert their independence and find their own identity, many experience behavioral changes that can seem bizarre and unpredictable to parents.
As difficult as this can be for parents to endure, they are the actions of a normal teenager. A troubled teen, on the other hand, exhibits behavioral, emotional, or learning problems beyond typical teenage issues. They may repeatedly practice at-risk behaviors including drinking, drug use, sex, violence, skipping school, self-harming, shoplifting, or other criminal acts.
Or they may exhibit symptoms of mental health problems such as depressionanxietyor eating disorders. If you identify red flag behaviors in your teen, consult a doctor, counselor, therapistor other mental health professional for help finding appropriate treatment.
As detailed below, there are many actions you can take at home to help your teen and improve the relationship between you. The first step is to find a way to connect with what they are experiencing emotionally and socially.
Positive face-to-face connection is the quickest, most efficient way to reduce stress by calming and focusing the nervous system. That means you probably have a lot more influence over your teen than you think. Be aware of your own stress levels. Be there for your teen. Insist on sitting down for mealtimes together with no TV, phones, or other distractions. Look at your teen when you speak and invite your teen to look at you. Find common ground.
Fathers and sons often connect over sports; mothers and daughters over gossip or movies. Listen without judging or giving advice. Expect rejection. Your teen may often respond to your attempts to connect with anger, irritation, or other negative reactions. Stay relaxed and allow your teen space to cool off.
Successfully connecting to your teen will take time and effort. If your teen is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their ability to connect emotionally can be compromised. The same may be true of prescription medications. For example, if your teen is taking antidepressantsmake sure the dosage is no more than absolutely needed. Every phone call or knock on the door could bring news that your son has either been harmed, or has seriously harmed others. Teenage girls get angry as well, of course, but that anger is usually expressed verbally rather than physically. Some will even direct their rage towards you.
For any parent, especially single mothers, this can be a profoundly disturbing and upsetting experience. Putting up with violence is as harmful for your teen as it is for you. Everyone has a right to feel physically safe. If your teen is violent towards you, seek help immediately. Call a friend, relative, or the police if necessary.
Anger can be a challenging emotion for many teens as it often masks other underlying emotions such as frustration, embarrassment, sadness, hurt, fear, shame, or vulnerability. In their teens, many boys have difficulty recognizing their feelings, let alone expressing them or asking for help. The challenge for parents is to help your teen cope with emotions and deal with anger in a more constructive way:. Establish boundaries, rules and consequences. If your teen lashes out, for example, they will have to face the consequences—loss of privileges or even police involvement.
Teens need boundaries and rules, now more than ever. Is your teen sad or depressed? Does your teen just need someone to listen to them without judgment? Be aware of anger warning s and triggers. Does your teen get headaches or start to pace before exploding with rage?
Or does a certain class at school always trigger anger? When teens can identify the warning s that their temper is starting to boil, it allows them to take steps to defuse the anger before it gets out of control. Help your teen find healthy ways to relieve anger. Exercise is especially effective: running, biking, climbing or team sports. Even simply hitting a punch bag or a pillow can help relieve tension and anger.
Dancing or playing along to loud, angry music can also provide relief. Some teens also use art or writing to creatively express their anger. Give your teen space to retreat. Take steps to manage your own anger. As difficult as it sounds, you have to remain calm and balanced no matter how much your child provokes you. If you or other members of your family scream, hit each other, or throw things, your teen will naturally assume that these are appropriate ways to express their anger as well.
It only takes a glance at the news headlines to know that teen violence is a growing problem. Movies and TV shows glamorize all manner of violence, many web sites promote extremist views that call for violent action, and hour after hour of playing violent video games can desensitize teens to the real world consequences of aggression and violence. Of course, not every teen exposed to violent content will become violent, but for a troubled teen who is emotionally damaged or suffering from mental health problems, the consequences can be tragic.
Problems at school. Low energy and concentration problems associated with teen depression can lead to a declining attendance and drop in grades. Running away. Many depressed teens run away or talk about running away from home, often as a cry for help. Drug and alcohol abuse. Teens may use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate their depression. Low self-esteem. Depression can trigger or intensify feelings of shame, failure, and social unease and make teens extremely sensitive to criticism. Smartphone addiction. Depressed teens may go online to escape their problems, but excessive smartphone and Internet use tends to increase feelings of isolation and worsen depression.
Reckless behavior. Depressed teens may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviors, such as reckless driving, binge drinking, or unsafe sex. Create structure. Structure, such as regular mealtimes and bedtimes, make a teen feel safe and secure. Sitting down to breakfast and dinner together every day can also provide a great opportunity to check in with your teen at the beginning and end of each day.
Reduce screen time. There appears to be a direct relationship between violent TV shows, movies, Internet content, and video games, and violent behavior in teenagers. Limit the time your teen has access to electronic devices—and restrict phone usage after a certain time at night to ensure your child gets enough sleep.
Encourage exercise. Once exercise becomes a habit, encourage your teen to try the real sport or to a club or team. Eat right. Act as a role model for your teen. Cook more meals at home, eat more fruit and vegetables and cut back on junk food and soda. Ensure your teen gets enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can make a teen stressed, moody, irritable, and lethargic, and cause problems with weight, memory, concentration, decision-making, and immunity from illness. You might be able to get by on six hours a night and still function at work, but your teen needs 8. Suggest that your teen try listening to music or audio books at bedtime instead.
That means looking after your emotional and physical needs and learning to manage stress. Take time to relax daily and learn how to regulate yourself and de-stress when you start to feel overwhelmed. Learning how to use your senses to quickly relieve stress and regularly practicing relaxation techniques are great places to start. Talk it over. Find support from family, friends, a school counselor, sports coach, religious leader, or someone else who has a relationship with your teen. Remember your other children. Dealing with a troubled teen can unsettle the whole family.
Siblings may need special individual attention or professional help of their own to handle their feelings about the situation. Your teen can overcome the problems of adolescence and mature into a happy, well-balanced young adult. New Mexico State University.
ACT for Youth. Teens and Violence Prevention — Tips for parents about reducing or eliminating teen violence. Palo Alto Medical Foundation. That Teenage Feeling — Biological clues to quirky adolescent behavior. American Psychological Association. In the U. Australia: In Queensland and Northern Territory call the Parentline at 30 or find a helpline near you.Troubled in need of advice
email: [email protected] - phone:(698) 504-1726 x 8029
Help for Parents of Troubled Teens