Teenagers And Aggression

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Adolescence is a challenging period for both parents and their teenage children. During this time, teenagers go through biological and physical developments which affect their patterns of behaviour. One of the changes which is most notable to parents is the increased aggression in their teens.

It is, undoubtedly, one of the most difficult things to manage but we suggest that you follow a few simple guidelines which can help you deal with this type of conduct and make life a little bit easier for both you and your teens.

Try your best to be patient

More often than not, aggression is the result of a teenager’s confusion due to the hormonal changes occurring within their bodies. When they’re expected to behave like adults but are still being treated like children, the confusion grows into anger and resentment. Patience and open communication is key when it comes to understanding your teen’s frustration and dealing with it, accordingly.

Respect your teen

What teens really want from their ‘elders’ is respect for their opinion and the opportunity to explain themselves. If parents make an important decision for their teenagers without including or consulting them, the result can only be an outburst of anger. How would you feel in their shoes?

Be calm and positive

Parents who approach issues in a composed and positive way effectively diffuse tension between their teens and themselves. This also gives out a non-verbal message that they are being listened to and understood. Teens often expect a negative reaction from their parents and will be pleasantly surprised when they recognise that their behaviour is not being met with hostility. Parents can set the best example by showing that the ideal way to resolve any form of conflict is to discuss things calmly.

Rules, reward and consequences

Rules, rewards and consequences may change as your teens’ needs and desires develop. Rewards can be used to encourage your teens to follow the family rules and to behave appropriately. Punishments should be used when rules are broken and for misbehaviour. Alternatively, the reward or consequence should match good behaviour. Raising a hand and/or yelling at your teens are not effective forms of discipline or communication. In fact, these actions will only serve to teach your teens that violence and yelling are appropriate responses to anger or frustration.

Be clear

If there is something important to be done and rather than asking politely, you issue commands such as “Do this now!” or reply with “Because I said so!” the chances are that your teens will meet these statements with retaliation. If you have asked respectfully and their reaction is still rude or negative, in a serious tone say, “I don’t want you to talk to me in that way. If you disagree with me that’s fine, but you’ll have to do it by speaking to me politely.” This shows that you’ve heard what they have to say, have acknowledged that they have a right to an opinion, but that it needs to be communicated with consideration. This paves the way for better communication in the future.

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