The number one challenge I hear from parents who are raising adolescent children is their frustration over their child’s up and down emotions. The constant arguing, disrespectful responses, and abrupt angry moments can be daily occurrences. I understand how parents feel and I don’t have a magic answer to change this. But I do have one suggestion that could be helpful in your relationship with your child.
There is a struggle going on in your adolescent’s brain between the demand for freedom to think and do what they want, and the frustration they feel that you don’t understand.
Many battles could be disarmed by the way you respond to your child. It requires you to carefully evaluate your words and the emotion behind them. Adolescents tend to react more to the emotions they from you than the logic you are trying to express to them. If possible, as the emotion erupts, take a few minutes to collect your feelings so they don’t interfere with what you want your adolescent to hear.
Ironically, I wrote this blog a few days ago and then yesterday I got into an argument with my 15-year-old grandson over his science homework assignment. I should have listened to my own advice. Needless to say, it did not go well. It all seemed to happen very quickly and before I knew it, he was really upset with me and I wasn’t very happy either.
I completely understand how difficult it is to put this advice into practice, but even in that situation with my grandson, I should have taken a few minutes and not just get wrapped up in his emotion.
I am sure there will be many more opportunities to try to do this better. My goal is to collect my emotions at the beginning of a confrontation, and hopefully, this can become your goal too.