Anger Rears Its Ugly Head
Hormones in the teenager are raging out of control
and to have a teenager who seems always to be in control
is not necessarily good. When I was a teen, in the seventies,
it was common for parents to have a heavy handed approach
to their children. If their teen showed anger in a particular
situation it was a given that the parent would admonish
them to "control yourself" or "turn that
frown upside-down" as if the teen could turn the
feeling on and off like a faucet. To make matters worse,
parents who were fortunate enough to get their children
to talk, would then belittle them with statements like
"that's nothing, when I was your age..." This
wasn't then, nor is it now, anything that a teenager
wants to hear. Knowing what causes teens to be angry
is one thing, but we need to learn how our teen expresses
their anger early in its development.
Some teens join violent sports teams or roughhouse
with friends. This lets the aggression out in a safe
way if it is supervised properly but often in the spirit
of competition, adults who should know better, channel
the aggressive nature of the teen and add to it by giving
them steroids, or weight loss drugs which only add to
the overstimulated teen mind. To recognize early if
your teen has an anger problem, it helps to know their
hobbies and interests. Their music can change, drawings
can get more violent or dark in nature. Today video
games are played by kids who transpose their anger into
the game. Watch, and learn about your teenagers. Take
the time to ask them about their hobbies in a non-judgemental
way. Be genuinely interested in what they are doing.
Don't always be a "judging parent" with a
negative opinion on everything they do. Be there for
them and when they are ready, and you will be one of
the ones they turn to for help when they need it. Don't
be afraid or too proud to tell your kids that they hurt
you. They are so busy trying to get through their day
that they may not realize it. And we are going into
this discussion believing that your teen loves you.
It doesn't matter if they say they "hate you".
Get involved with their lives. You have plenty of time
to be the best bowler or dart thrower after they are
on their own.
My own daughter may start many of these "family
times" with a crisis about school grades or maybe
a friend or classmate told everyone a lie about her.
We may even get into a heated debate about life not
being fair but if you are patient and you stick to your
principles and give your teen the time to talk and think,
then THEY usually come up with their own solution, cry
give you a hug and thank you for being there for them.
They they go to bed and you stay up and wonder what
you did that was so important to them when they still
have the same problems. But they just feel better about
their chances to take care of them, themselves. You
see your teens don't want you to fight their battles
for them, they want to do it themselves. They just get
frustrated when they can't.
Sometimes rest, good food and exercise is all they
need to go out and take another stab at life and see
if they can make it through another day. Because that
is what every parent really wants. For their child,
teen or even adult child to get through another day
and live one more day, giving it all that they have.
Because they see you do it. And even though they will
deny it, your children wouldn't hate it if they could
handle their life pretty much like you do. That is your
reward and the ultimate compliment. And that is the
way civilization has endured for a long time.
Alan Speaker Jr.