Getting Control of Teen Anger

Whether angry at the world, angry at America, or just a psychopath, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner struck out with homicidal anger this past weekend in Tucson, taking the lives of six and critically wounding Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It has become an all too common scene; younger individuals expressing anger by snuffing out the lives of others in public places.

Whenever such tragic events occur, I receive phone calls from parents wondering if their child may be the next news headline, since their teen also seems angry all the time, listens to the same music, smokes the same dope, wears the same clothes, or has other similarities. I assure them that teens don’t become homicidal just because they are angry or because they have the same interests as the latest mass-murderer. Barring mental illness or being hyped up on alcohol or drugs, most kids wouldn’t think of hurting another individual, let alone taking a life. (Though it does make sense to keep guns locked away from any teen who is expressing anger or is exhibiting depression). Continue reading “Getting Control of Teen Anger”

Remodeling the Family Home

Parents with a rebellious teenager tell me that their house seems to be falling apart at the seams.  The whole family is in a constant state of turmoil and walking on eggshells.  But I tell them that their house can again become whole; in fact, with some hard work, it can become their dream home.

Do you live in your dream home, or has it fallen into disrepair?  Sometimes my life gets so busy that I simply dream of being home once in awhile, but that’s not exactly what I mean here.  Most people think of their dream home in terms of a house on the lake, a mansion on a hilltop, a quiet cabin in the woods.  But many parents I work with would rather live in a mud hut than a beautiful mansion, if they could just have some peace in the family and good relationships with their children. Continue reading “Remodeling the Family Home”

Is Your Teen Driving You Crazy?

There is much in the news these days about cars accelerating out of control, leaving the driver and passengers helpless to know how to slow down or stop their runaway vehicle.  That’s kind of what it is like in a family with a teenager who is out of control. The whole family gets swept along for the not so joyful ride.

Is your family experiencing a frightening ride with an out of control teenager? Are you at a loss to know what to do, or don’t know how to react when your teen’s behavior makes every wrong turn and is accelerating toward disaster?

Typical adolescent behavior includes moodiness, hyper-sensitivity and irrational thinking — no cause for much alarm.  But there are other behaviors that are warning signs of a bigger problem than you may realize. These attitudes and behaviors are often triggered by a child’s feeling of being disrespected or abandoned in some way at some point in their life, and the level at which those feelings impact their actions, relationships and decisions in the teen years becomes abnormal. Continue reading “Is Your Teen Driving You Crazy?”