If anyone out there has gone through, or is going through a family breakup, then don’t miss the latest episode of Raising Teens. It’s a really positive and heart-warming discussion about everything involved, including some excellent advice from our guests, Alex Psaila from Relate, Jo Heywood, an education specialist, Dan Flanagan from the brilliant Dad La Soul, and our very own Daisy Cresswell.

🔊 Listen to Raising Teens: Family breakups

The discussion covered everything from how to deal with a teenager’s emotions as well as your own during a family separation, step-families, rituals and routines, how to create a calm environment at home and how schools can help.

Here are our guests’ top tips:

Alex Psaila:

“Use your resources wisely. Try and talk to your friends who will listen to you. Discriminate between the friends who tell you what to do and those who actually listen… Don’t chose the friends who take sides – that’s not what you need.”

Jo Heywood:

“Don’t forget the school and the [fact that it’s a] constant for your child. Schools can help with organisation, with counselling, they can help with leniency when it comes to work or emotions if the child has to step out. They can tell you, if they’re looking at a particular topic in a syllabus that might be difficult for that child, they can give you a heads up.”

Daisy Cresswell:

“My advice to parents would be to compartmentalise – don’t try and fix everything at once. And listen to your body because your mind and body won’t necessarily be in sync. If you’re absolutely exhausted, rest.”

Dan Flanagan:

“Don’t fall into the traps – I thought I could go away and drown my sorrows down the pub. Instead I took up yoga and started swimming in the sea. The other bit of advice is to talk – especially men. We don’t do it enough.”

Further help & advice

Relate offers relationship and family counselling as well as information and advice on separation and divorce as well as useful information on dealing with children’s feelings and behaviour

Dad La Soul, a a revolutionary, grassroots movement, that uses the arts, music, tech and play to tackle social isolation in dads and kids

West Sussex Council’s Find it Out Centres for Young People are for anyone between 11 and 25. They offer drop-in advice and information. To talk to someone in confidence young people will need to make an appointment

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for Sussex

Childline offers children information and advice, and a listening ear

The Samaritans offer 24/7 support: https://www.samaritans.org/ or call 116123 for free

Dealing with teen is never an easy task, and as a tired parent, just in from work, we don’t always check our emotions and react well – particularly when we’re arguing with an articulate “mini-me”!

Last night’s episode of Raising Teens discussed Kicking Off, and our brilliant guests gave their top tips for dealing with an angry teen. 

🔊 Listen to Raising Teens: Kicking Off

The thing that stood out for me most from all the great advice was to take a breath and not to react in the moment. Walk away if necessary. And then find time to listen when things have calmed down. 

Our four guests ended the show with their top tips for dealing with an angry teen. If you have any good tips, please share them in the comments below.

Ed Hallwood from Room To Rant at Audio Active

“Respect the opinions of your teenagers. Be calm, listen and remember that they are an individual. You can’t change them. They have to change for themselves.”

Carl Scott, Reboot project worker for YMCA in Hastings

“Just let them know you’re there for them whenever they need to talk. Concentrate on the positives, not the negatives. Children often make 50 steps forward and 10 steps back and a lot of us concentrate on the 10 steps back. Try and get them to understand and take responsibility for their actions.”

PC Joe Davies from Sussex Police working in the youth prevention team

“Listening to these teenagers is going to go such a long way because if you create that safe environment for them where they can talk to you, they will tell you what’s wrong…. It’s really hard to stay calm when they’re angry, but get angry with a partner or a friend, vent to them, and try and stay calm and listen.”

Donna Peters-Lamb from Make Sense Psychotherapy

“Anger gets a bad press and it shouldn’t. It’s often just a sign-poster. Sometimes you don’t know why you’re angry and that’s what’s so confusing about it because it is often just the symptom of something and not the actual cause. So, don’t act on the symptom. Try to listen. Acknowledge their feelings and your own. Don’t react until you’re both ready.

“It might not be about you as a parent, so don’t take it personally. Don’t enter into that ring ready for a fight because you think your young person is angry with you. It may be nothing to do with you. But they are putting it on you, because you’re a safe place to put it. Be aware with that and don’t just pick it up and run with it because then you’re moving away from the original feeling that the young person was trying to communicate to you. It’s a lot of self-reflection. A lot of self-awareness. And breathe, breathe, breathe…”

Help & Advice

Audio Active’s Room to Rant A space for young men to be themselves, talking and exploring their struggles and life experiences through spoken word, rap and hip hop.

NHS advice on teen aggression and arguments 

Young Minds’ advice for teens on anger 

Young Minds’ advice for parents on anger

We’ve spent the last few weeks listening to teens and it’s been an eye-opening, sometimes shocking, sometimes heart-warming experience. They’ve spoken to us about anger, home life, alcohol, self-harm, eating disorders, grief… their experiences in part shape who they are, as do the reactions and support of those around them.

Raising Teens, our radio show for BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey, starts back tonight and is on every Monday at 8pm up until Christmas. This series we’ve invited more experts and parents to join host Guy Lloyd to talk about how we can support teenagers, parents and everyone who works with, lives with, cares for and interacts with young people.

And whilst we’re dealing with difficult subjects in this series, the feeling we’re left with after listening to the teens, who’ve given up their time to share their stories, is one of hope. It is also one of immense gratitude. These young people really want to help their peers. They want to give them an insight into how to deal with difficult emotions, how to be more resilient and how to support each other.

Do join us Monday nights at 8pm from now ’til Christmas on BBC Sussex, BBC Surrey and online.

Catch up on series one here.

Raising Teens radio show

How do parents cope when their teens kick off? Anger is a powerful emotion and the teenage years can see an explosion of strong feelings.

Raising Teens is back for a second series on Monday 4 November 2019. Episode one covers anger in teenagers. Our young reporter, Lola, interviewed teens to discover how they feel when the red mist descends.

“I just kind of feel explosive and just like I want everyone to shut up and listen and just… I dunno… I just feel really frustrated.”

“I can feel it tingling… like bubbling in my stomach. And it’s like, oh, not a nice feeling but it’s nice to get it out.”

Raising Teens host Guy Lloyd discusses why teens get angry, and what parents can do when it all kicks off, with four guests: Donna Peters-Lamb, psychotherapist at Make Sense Psychotherapy, PC Joe Davies, from Sussex Police Youth Prevention Team, Carl Scott, Reboot (early youth intervention programme) coach, and Ed Hallwood, Room to Rant tutor from Audio Active.

Join us at 8pm on Monday 4 November on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey and online.

If you need help with teenage anger, here are some great resources:

NHS advice on teen aggression and arguments 

Young Minds’ advice for teens on anger 

Young Minds’ advice for parents on anger

Young Minds’ Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines) 

Audio Active’s Room to Rant: A space for young men to be themselves, talking and exploring their struggles and life experiences through spoken word, rap and hip hop.

Make Sense Psychotherapy: Donna Peters-Lamb’s private practice in the Brighton and Hove and East Sussex area