Learn to Handle Emotional Outbursts
The roller-coaster emotions of adolescence are not much fun for parents or kids. But they're a natural part of growing up. Your teen is dealing with physical changes and looking for ways to be independent. It's difficult—but important—to react helpfully to negative outbursts.
Here are some ways to handle common adolescent complaints:
- "Leave me alone!" Kids often say this when they need time to think. Give your teen some time. Then ask if your teen would like to talk. No matter what, make it clear that you're there if wanted or needed.
- "I'm not you!" Teens say this because they're figuring out who they are and how they're different from their parents. Allowing your teen to make some reasonable choices independently can minimize conflicts.
- "But Jordan is allowed to!" It's important to children to fit in with peers. But it's more important for families to enforce good rules. Acknowledge your teen's wishes, then explain the reason for your rules and stick to them.
- "You don't understand!" Many teens feel that the adults in their lives don't "get" their problems. Let your teen know that you want to try. Ask casual, sympathetic questions that encourage talking.
- "I hate you!" It hurts to hear children say this, but what they usually mean is "I don't know how to deal with you now." The best response is a loving one: "I'm sorry you feel that way. But I'll always love you."
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Libby Middle/High School
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