As the pandemic complicated everyone’s lives, adapting to the new normal was a challenge especially for teenagers. During this difficult time, it is good to give your teenager the emotional support he needs.
Frustrations, fears, anger, anxiety, sadness – all create an amalgam of feelings that can lead to outbursts from your teenager. A slammed door, a tantrum, snappy answers are just some of the typical signs of the arrival of stormy adolescence. They are just ways in which he can make his wishes known. In the absence of impulsive manifestations, they collect many frustrations that can lead to depression. For this reason, the appearance of aggressive tendencies is normal in the adolescent’s attempt to accept all the changes he is going through, which he does not understand, but also what does not always happen as he would like. What you can do as a parent is to help him understand the emotional changes he has to deal with.
“If we want our teenagers to be more disciplined and responsible, we have to give them the chance to make choices and to be aware that there are limits. It is good to draw these limits as early as possible, because many problems are foreshadowed – cars, meetings, drinks, parties; some of them you may have already faced and they become more serious as the child grows.” (source: ‘Emotional Intelligence in the Education of Children’, by Maurice J. Elias, Steven E. Tobias, Brian S. Friedlander , Curtea Veche Publishing House)
Be a role model for him
Despite his reactions, the teenager still perceives you as a role model, even if you find it hard to believe or do not admit it to you. Most of the time, they tend to test you to see your limits. Intentionally or not, he defies you whenever he has the opportunity or becomes a rebel. What they expect from you is a quick and firm reaction. Therefore, the best way to deal with him is to control your anger and not let his aggressive behavior anger you. Avoid contradicting him, because you will only get angry. Surprise him with your calmness and willingness to listen. Be open to giving him answers or suggestions for solving his problems. He may not thank you or show you that you helped him, but you will gain his trust.
Choose your words carefully
Precisely for the management of childhood crying spells, the well-known tantrums, avoid approaching them with words like: “Calm down! It’s not a big deal!”. He will think you don’t understand him. Better to wait until he calms down on his own. Reassure him that what is happening to him is important to you and that you are ready to discuss it with him. Avoid blaming him. You will be of no use to him. If you speak to him in a superior tone or defend those with whom he is in conflict, he will feel rejected by you and withdraw even more into himself. Try to discover all aspects of the problem and listen to him with great attention and patience. If he acts aggressively when something doesn’t go his way, let him vent. He doesn’t want to tell you anything about what happened? Do not pester him with questions, avoid making assumptions and demanding. Explain to him that you once went through something similar and convince him that he can trust you.
Read also: What models do teenagers still have
A psychologist may be needed
It may seem absurd to you that a stranger knows better than you what is in the mind and soul of your own teenager. However, you cannot find out all the reasons for his sudden mood swings. Being from outside the family, the psychologist will inspire more confidence in the young person to whom he will not be afraid to confess. You can’t expect an improvement in his behavior overnight, but from a psychologist he will find answers to his dilemmas and temper him over time.
other Tips for parents
Don’t scold him in public. It will make him feel like he’s up to no good. You may not like his passions, but he has his own skills.
Understand his passions. Try talking to him about activities he can do with friends, such as outdoor sports.
Let him talk to you only when he wants to. It is better to be his confidant and accept his secrets. Stay close when needed.