Parenting is rewarding, but children can be frustrating whatever age they are. However, dealing with a toddler in full temper-tantrum mode is not the same as facing off against a moody teenager about to go full rage on you. Still, there are ways to navigate the chaos of living with an emotional teen.
Giving your puberty-stricken teenager a timeout, taking their ‘toys,’ or holding their ice cream hostage probably won’t work as well as it used to. Here are three strategies that will help parents cope.
1. Respect Their Perspective
Imagine how you would feel if, during an argument, your spouse blurted out that your issues weren’t a big deal or you should just get over it? Comments like that are more likely to bring you closer to boiling point rather than resolve the conflict. It’s the same with an emotional teen. When they are moody because of issues or challenges they face, it’s a big deal to them.
2. Be a Good Role Model
You may not always notice, but teens are observing their parents and learning how to navigate the world through what they learn. If they start shouting, show them that responding to conflict through raised voices, threats, and nasty comments is inappropriate. Keep calm and show your teen how you deal with issues rather than tell them. If you use running as stress relief, don’t tell them to go for a run when they’re angry. Instead, you should say, “I’m going for a run to calm down.”
3. Always Make Yourself Available
Your teenager will not always welcome you with open arms whenever you feel like having a conversation. Sometimes, their response may be downright hostile. However, regardless of their mood, your child should know with certainty that you will always be available when they need you. Remember, it’s not your teenager’s job to make you feel better. It is your role as a parent.