What Happened To My Sweet Child?

Once your child started growing into a teenager, you saw some changes in their attitude and probably the family dynamic between you as parent and daughter/son.  You thought the terrible twos were bad but now these teenage years make those memories of raising your toddler seem like a breeze in comparison.

Teenagers are trying to create an identity for themselves.  They don’t want to be seen as a child anymore, but will often act like they are more independent than they really are.  They are also going through physical and hormonal changes that can heighten their mood swings and emotional states.  It may seem to you like your teen is overly emotional.  But life at this time is a lot for a teen to deal with.

How are you supposed to still parent them when they just want to push you away?  How do you deal with these “terrible teen” temper tantrums, bouts of angry explosions, balls of tears, and “overreactions” to situations?  How do you teach them how to become successful, happy, independent adults when they don’t seem interested in what you have to say?  And how do you keep your cool when they start pushing all your buttons?

Tips for parenting your emotional teen:

  1. Create an open environment for them to talk with you. Let them know that you are there if they want to talk.  Even if what they tell you is not what you want to hear, try not to react with haste or extreme emotion yourself.  Try to understand where they are coming from, put yourself in their shoes, and show some empathy for what they are dealing with.  When they feel like they can be open with you without fear of automatically getting in trouble or feeling like they did something wrong, they are more likely to want to open up to you and share their emotions.  Don’t ditch the parent role for a friend role with your teens, but establish an honest communication policy where you make an effort to really listen to what they have to say without letting your own emotional reactions take over.
  1. Don’t just sooth their emotions with a quick fix. It’s okay for your teen (or anyone) to sometimes feel sad, angry, frustrated or hurt.  These feelings are natural and shouldn’t just be masked by happiness to solve the problem.  It’s important to help your teen cope with these emotions, while still setting some boundaries for how far they take them.

You can find the other half of the list here: http://bit.ly/1UaJ8mN

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