There was a lot of tension in my home when I was growing up. I can remember the whole family nervously sitting around the dinner table and eating a meal without saying a word. When we were at odds with each other we were taught a very simple coping strategy; avoid it! Of course that didn’t solve anything or make it go away; the tension just built up over time, eventually exploding like an erupting volcano.
It’s important that our homes be a place where everyone can release their tension in appropriate ways and find a respite and relief. If not, your teens will find ways to self-medicate the tension away through drugs, alcohol, promiscuity or self-harm. The pressures of their world are far greater than when we were kids, so let me share with you some practical ideas for relieving tension in your home. Continue reading “Relieving Tension in the Home”
The culture has changed, but teenagers haven’t. They are still focused on trying to fit in with their peers and to make sense out of life. But parents can get confused by their changes in attitude and the independence they seek, assuming their teenager is becoming rebellious.
It’s normal for teenagers to fail to do their chores without ten reminders, to put off their homework, to be emotional, to lose important things, to like music that is too loud, and to sometimes counter or question authority. That’s all pretty typical, though it can be aggravating to parents.
To compare, let’s look at what’s abnormal . . . sudden profound changes in personality, angry outbursts of profanity, extreme disrespect for people and things, addictions, sudden failing grades, not sleeping or sleeping too much, extreme weight loss, eating disorders, self-harm, running away, or self-imposed isolation. Continue reading “Is My Teen’s Behavior Normal?”
When your thought patterns rub up against those of your teenager, you can either take it personally and get upset yourself, or you can use it as an opportunity to help bring healing and a new perspective to your child.
Teens get angry for a number of reasons; from fear, feelings of injustice, insecurity, loneliness, overactive hormones, lack of sleep, peer bullying, a growing need for independence and just trying to make sense out of life. Parents get angry when their teens behave in ways that aren’t appropriate or if they feel their children aren’t showing them proper respect. If parents don’t understand that their teenager’s anger may be about something totally separate from them, they might go about lighting the fuse in the dynamite by reacting too harshly. So, guess which party needs to “man up” and defuse the situation? Continue reading “Handling an Angry Teen”