Teenagers are tough to handle. Half adult and half child, we must be careful where we draw the line with them. This is the age when they have to deal with the rush of hormones, academic work and extreme peer pressure. They face the pressure to conform and at a time when they are emotionally vulnerable, this can be an awful stress on them. Mishandling them can lead to grave consequences.
All teenagers cannot be handled in the same manner. Also, what was a good way for your parents and grandparents to handle teenagers is not necessarily a good way for you to handle your teenager. It varies with the times and if you fail to keep up, you end up making a big mistake. What is more important here is not whether you are failing as a parent, but how you face it. Here are some tips to help you cope with teen aggression:-
• You should look out and establish patterns of behaviour of your teen. If you start yelling and screaming at the first sign of aggression from your teen, you are sending out the message that yelling and screaming is the way to deal with aggressive behaviour.
• Don’t forget children learn from examples, and you don’t want to set a bad example for them. Backing down and surrendering is not the right way either. Being calm and quiet but effective and setting clear limits is the way to go.
• Change does not happen overnight. It is not only the child who needs to correct his behaviour, but also parents. Parents must ensure that they are not part of the problem.
• Intimidation, name calling and bullying arises mainly from the ability of the child to deal with his or her own problems. Going to the root of the problem and helping him to overcome it will gradually wipe out any aggressive behaviour.
• To be able to do this, children must be able to trust the parents and confide in them. Channels of communication must always be kept open.
• In a really tricky or explosive situation, there is need for everyone to calm down and take a step back. An hour or two spent away from the crisis scene can really give all involved a different perspective about the issue without the need for much talking.
• To a really aggressive teen, one message needs to be sent out clearly – that there is no excuse absolutely for aggressive behaviour. Nothing, absolutely nothing can justify such behaviour and any indulgence in such behaviour will have consequences.
• Get the teen to practice deep breathing exercises. These have a really calming effect on the mind and can also be practiced in the middle of an argument to regain control over oneself.
• Sometimes outsiders can help. A counsellor who isn’t judgemental can go a long way in getting a teen to open up, which is the first step to corrective action.
• Give the child some space to retreat and reflect in some alone time.
• And also remember that abundant love that only a parent can show can go a long way in solving most problems.
Hope these tips come handy when you are dealing with aggression in teens.