Being a teenager can be a confusing time for you and your parents. During the teenage years, your body will undergo numerous changes and start to release lots of different hormones, which can affect your mood and sense of well-being. Being a teenager also leaves you open to feeling self-conscious because of body changes, which, in turn, can make your new hormones even more difficult to handle. The teenage years bring about a whole array of confusing experiences that help you to learn how to become an adult.
Understanding Teen Feelings
It is important for parents to understand the effects that all these physical and biological changes can have on the feelings of a teenager. Hormones can particularly affect girls when they start to go through puberty, leaving them open to intense emotions.
Bodies will start to develop and change, causing feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness, especially if your teenager is the first among his or her peers to experience these.
As well as coping with hormones and body changes, teenagers have to adapt to having more pressure and responsibility in their home lives and at school. Grades become more important as teens get older and peer pressure can become more difficult to manage, as there is a natural desire to fit in with the crowd.
Friendship groups may drift apart and morph during the teenage years as children change schools or change their outlook on life. This can be a distressing time and cause a sense of vulnerability and loneliness, particularly if lost friends are not quickly replaced.
Parents and carers may expect their teenagers to take on more responsibilities around the home, such as undertaking chores, which may cause feelings of pressure when coupled with increasing amounts of schoolwork. It may be helpful to teach your teenager effective time management techniques, such as creating a study timetable and prioritizing tasks.
All of these emotional, physical and social changes can lead to outbursts of frustration, which need to be handled appropriately by parents and carers to allow teenagers to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with emotions later in life.
Techniques to Manage Teen Emotions
Teenagers require parental support to learn how to manage their emotions. As a parent, you may initially feel angry about teenage emotional outbursts and be tempted to shout back. This is a perfectly natural response, but it may not help to resolve conflict situations.
Listening to the worries of your teenager and trying to put yourself into his or her shoes can help parents to understand the reasons behind certain behaviors. Once parents know the cause of certain behaviors, they will be able to suggest better ways of dealing with them.
Parents need to understand that teenagers need space to develop their own personalities and discover themselves during their growing period. Finding fault in everything that teenagers do will not help this process, but being supportive by listening to and discussing problems calmly will help.
Sometimes your teenager will be so angry that he or she cannot be rational. Allow your child to vent frustrations in order to calm down, but make it clear where the boundaries are and that curse words and insults will not be tolerated. If you feel that these outbursts are getting out of hand, you should intervene and give a clear reminder of boundaries.
Being a teenager is a difficult time, but with the help and support of understanding parents, it can be made much easier. You may experience a love-hate relationship with each other, but if you give as much help and support as you possibly can, you should come out the other side much closer than before.