Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anger Management for Teen Children

"Chicano teenager in El Paso's second war...Image via WikipediaAnger Management for Teen Children

The teenage years are crucial in the growth of children. Unfortunately these are the years where children experience some of their most challenging encounters. This particular period in a child's life can take them down many paths, some of them not so pleasant. Teen children who are forced to deal with upsetting circumstances often lash out. Developing a reckless attitude is common in many teen children. When teens turn to emotions of anger and begin to act out, it might be time to seek anger management for teen children.

As a teenager, trying to cope with the diverse situations which continuously present themselves can be emotionally strenuous. This strain unleashes many thoughts and feeling including anger. Anger is a natural response when somebody pushes a person's buttons. However, what the person chooses to do with those feelings makes the difference. Anger management for teen children teaches self-awareness and self-control. Anger is an extremely powerful emotion. If dealt with incorrectly, anger can cause actions or reactions which are very hurtful and painful. Learning to deal with these emotions at a young age will definitely affect adult life. It is essential to seek anger management for teen children when there is evidence of anger issues.

Handling anger is all about empowerment, being capable of accessing the situation and making positive decisions rather than acting on impulse. It is easy to lash out at the first sign of opposition but it takes self-control to act in a sensible and logical manner. This may seem to be a lot to expect of teen children but if approached in the right way, it can be accomplished. This may require one-on-one counseling, support group meetings or attending a retreat for teens with anger problems. The method for success is important however, the end result is what really matters.

Teaching a teenager, self-awareness as part of anger management for teen children, requires teaching the individual that they have the ability to evaluate situations which make them angry. Encouraging the teen to take notice of their feelings during irritating incidents is essential in anger management for teen children. Helping them to understand the importance of thinking during an actual confrontational encounter will make a difference.

A teenager who is quick to anger also needs lessons in self-control. It is one thing to evaluate the upsetting situation but the self-control factors into the teenager's reaction. Teaching teen children to think before they act is imperative in anger management for teen children. Encouraging them to stop and think, take a few seconds between their initial feelings of anger and their reaction will certainly produce positive results.

Self-awareness and self-control go hand in hand when involved in a provoking situation. Anger management for teen children teaches the individual to evaluate their emotions, the situation and the actual reasons for the opposition. Taking a few seconds to mull these thoughts over in their mind will have an impact on their action or reaction. Dealing with teenagers who have anger problems can be a challenge but there are many resources available regarding anger management for teen children. The Internet is a great source or information regarding this subject. The process of teaching anger management strategies to teens may be a battle but the rewards are worth the effort. If the challenge means a teenager is prevented from harm and pain, it is definitely worth it.

Never give up,
Greg
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Actively Listening To Your Teen

Actively Listening To Your Teen

Communicating with our teenager can be a difficult task at times. We feel like they're not listening to us; they feel like we're not listening to them. Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting. Your teen's feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.

It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences. However, responding means being receptive to our child's feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us. By reacting, we send our teen the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid.

But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows you a better understanding of where they're coming from.

Responding also gives you an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with your teen that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own. Your child will also appreciate the fact that maybe you do indeed understand how they feel.

It's crucial in these situations to give your teen your full and undivided attention. Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child. Bite your tongue, keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem.

Don't discourage your teen from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated. Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic. Again, listen to your teen, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling.

Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations. By actively listening and participating with our teen as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from.

Remember, respond - don't react.

Never give up,
Greg

Friday, February 12, 2010

Harsh Discipline: Does it do More Harm than Good?

Harsh Discipline: Does it do More Harm than Good?

Recent studies suggest that low-income parents tend to endorse much harsher discipline, partially because they hold stronger beliefs about the value of spanking and experience higher levels of stress. However, parents who work in high-stress jobs or are stay-at-home parents who are feeling frustrated or isolated are also at risk.

It's imperative that parents recognize their tendency to punish a teen too severely and take the needed steps to make sure the punishment is appropriate for their child's age, temperament and maturity level.

The study's findings showed that parents from lower income levels or high pressure jobs are more stressed, and they react more emotionally to their teen's behavior, and thus use harsher discipline. A parent in this situation may benefit from outside assistance and learning about alternative disciplinary strategies that are more appropriate and less harsh.

One such technique is Positive Reinforcement.
It's important for a parent to realize that children thrive on praise. Parents in such a situation may always jump to discipline but fail to praise their teen for their good deeds, behaviors and traits. Children instinctively want to please their parents and make them proud.

By encouraging positive behavior, the parent will most likely discourage the behavior that has driven them in the past to punish too harshly.

In order to encourage positive behavior deserving of praise, parents might want to consider giving their teen a task they know they're able to accomplish, and praise their efforts along the way. Stack the deck in your teens favor.

Parents need to also consistently praise their children for the positive traits they possess. Their teen might be good at math in school, helpful to their little brother or sister, or good at drawing pictures. Sometimes it might be a struggle to find something to praise, especially when you're fighting and struggling with your child all the time. Find something, anything! It could be that their shirt looks nice or you like the way their hair looks or even that they shut the door. Praise these good traits and the teen is likely to respond by acting appropriately and behaving positively in order to gain more praise.

In the end, it's important to remember that a teen is just that - a teenager. A parent should make a concerted effort to make sure the discipline is appropriate and take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally so they can optimally provide for their child's physical and emotional well-being.

Never give up,
Greg

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Many Rules Are Enough

How Many Rules Are Enough

Some rules are absolutes, where the safety of a teenager is at risk. They protect our teen's health, safety and well-being. But from that point on the rest are up to a parents discretion.

The other point to remember with teenagers is that after a rule is clearly stated, it must be enforced. You cannot back down, with teenagers you must always follow through!

So now we come to the question of how much is too much. Where do we draw the line? With a defiant teenager sometimes it feels like all we're doing is busting their chops all the time.

Well, I always liked this saying: "Don't become a fence monitor." What does it mean? When you put up a fence (i.e. rule), you have to monitor it. Remember, you can not back down from a rule, it has to be enforced. If you don't want to be a fence monitor then don't keep putting up fences.

Meaning, if it is not threatening to your teens well-being maybe that's one less fence you should put up. Can their bedroom be a little messy when you're trying to work on more important issues?

Pick your battles. Figure out what fences (rules) are most important and the ones you're willing to monitor vigilance, and then let the rest wait for now. You can always work on other things as you gain traction in the future.

Never give up,
Greg

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Handling Conflict About Rules Enforcement

Handling Conflict About Rules Enforcement

Some parents may worry that setting strict rules may distance them from their children. But this simply isn't the case. Though they may gripe and complain and get upset when you become the enforcer, they realize deep down that this shows you care. These parameters you set forth and enforce make your child feel loved, safe, and secure.

It's never easy developing and introducing rules. Parents may tend to avoid setting rules because they fear confrontation and unpleasantness. But the uncomfortable stuff isn't necessarily a reflection on your relationship with your child, it's just the nature of adolescence - breaking rules and pushing limits is a part of growing up.

We tend to want to be our child's friend sometimes, and when we're laying down the law that just isn't possible. Our primary role is to protect, nurture and provide for our children.

When teens break rules, parents often overreact with harsh, disproportionate and unenforceable punishment, which undermines the effectiveness of setting rules. Instead, when you first tell your child about a new rule, discuss the consequences of breaking that rule - what the punishment will be and how it will be carried out.

Consequences must go hand in hand with limits, so that your child knows what the cost of breaking the rules will be. It's called natural consequences. The rule then governs its self, because you stated it clearly beforehand, you're not the one being the bad guy, its the rule or more importantly, your teenager choices.

The punishments you set should be reasonable and related to the violation. For example, if you catch your son and his friends smoking, you might "ground" him by restricting his social activities for two weeks. Punishments should only involve penalties you discussed before the rule was broken. Also, never issue empty threats.

It's understandable that you'll be angry when house rules are broken, and sharing your feelings of anger, disappointment, or sadness can have a powerfully motivating effect on your child. However, since we're all more inclined to say things we don't mean when we're upset, it's sometimes best to give ourselves a time-out period to cool off before we say something we don't mean.

Finally, make the ground rules crystal clear to your child. It's imperative that you are consistent and follow through with a defined disciplinary action after each infraction, and that your child understands the reasons why.

Never give up,
Greg

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Negotiating The Rules With Your Teen

Negotiating The Rules With Your Teen

We all know as parents that discussing and negotiating the rules with our children is never easy. Children are all very different, and what might need to be a rule for one, may not even be an issue for another. That being said, there are many parameters that we set as parents that are the hard and fast rules - those with no 'wiggle room.' Those are the rules set forth to protect our teen's health, safety and well-being. These rules and their consequences should be very clearly defined and it should be understood by all involved that they are there for a very important reason and that they are 'all or nothing.'

Rules that keep our children safe are of the utmost importance. These could include everything from teaching youngsters not to touch the hot stove to teaching your teenager the importance of obeying the laws. Teenagers need to understand these rules are to be followed to the letter and there is no room for negotiation here.

For teenagers, such rules should include expectations about drinking, the use of illegal drugs, or safe driving. These rules are also imperative to a teen's health, well-being and safety. There should be no room for experimentation or relaxing the rules in specific social situations.

Now, there are rules that can be fairly and equitably negotiated with your children as well. Rules regarding how many hours per week can be spent on video game playing, what time a child is expected home for dinner, what time each night homework is to be completed, or how late a teenager is allowed to stay out on weekend nights are all rules that can be discussed openly and honestly between you and your child.

These should also be consistent, however. Don't' allow 11 p.m. one weekend night and then tell your teenager 9:30 the following weekend night when going out with the same group of friends. If your teenager broke the 11 p.m. curfew the weekend before, the consequence of losing the privilege of going out that weekend should be strictly enforced.

Don't bend the rule just because your teenager seems genuinely sorry and promises never to do it again. Consequences should be consistent, fair, and ALWAYS FOLLOWED THROUGH!

Never give up,
Greg