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.
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