I have been warned that the meltdown phase of raising kids is nothing compared to the teenage years. Some might argue that is nothing compared to the grown up years and adult children who refuse to leave home. And perhaps others will argue that is a breeze compared to the years when some older parents seem to switch places with their children. Oh the emotions and feelings of it all! Oh this price of being human! Sigh….
Let’s come back to the fact that our feelings are our barometer. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the mood and the moment, one person’s feelings can also affect the barometer and the mood of the house. While I currently live in a home of little people, the teenage years are creeping up fast.
Perhaps nothing says seismic mood shift like the teenage years. It seems like moods can change with teenagers like lake effect weather of Western New York. The National Public Radio website, NPR , had a great article at their health blog addressing teens and challenging behavior. In the article titled “How Parents Can Learn To Tame A Testy Teenager“, Michigan family therapist Kim Abraham, who specializes in helping teens and families cope with anger, reminds parents of all the emotional, physical, and social changes going on for teens. She says that this can cause great anxiety in teens that often comes out as anger by them. She also says that anger is always preceded with another feeling like disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, or sadness. Abraham states that it is a parent’s job to help the teen identify the trigger feeling and help them work thru it, before the anger sets in motion.
This teaches them how to cope with their feelings and problem solve. In other words, do not get upset with them because they are angry, but help them understand why they are angry. Listen to them, help them identify their feelings and needs, and then work for understanding. And being the “messy things” feelings are at times, Ms. Abraham reminds parents to use boundaries and consequences to keep behavior in check and promote what’s good for everyone. Remembering these things are good for a house’s “barometric pressure….”