Dealing with Aggression in Teenagers

The adolescence period is the most difficult for parents and children alike. During this time children go through biological and physical changes that affect their behavioral patterns. One behavioral element which is most pronounced is aggressive behavior among teenagers. Following guidelines can be used while dealing with the problem of aggressive behavior among children:

Children are not bad creatures

Parents would have to be patient with their growing adolescents. Most of the time teenage aggression stems from teenagers’ confusion due to the hormonal changes occurring in their bodies. When people expect them to behave like adults, while they are still being treated as children, then the confusion grows into anger and resentment. Therefore, open communication can go a long way in understanding your  teen’s frustration and dealing with it, accordingly.

Respect your teen

Sometimes all teenagers want from their elders, especially parents, is to respect their opinion and give them room to explain themselves. If parents make an important decision for their teens without consulting them or taking them on board, it will result in extreme outbursts of anger. However, there are certain issues where teens’ acceptance is not necessary; like taking away their driving rights if they are caught drunk driving.

Keep calm and stay optimistic

Key to understanding your child is to be patient and positive. This way parents will be able to diffuse the tension between them and their children, while giving out a non-verbal message that they are listening and trying to understand their child. This also helps teens recognize that their behavior is not getting the reaction they had expected. Hence, they realize that the best way to approach the issue is by staying calm and discussing it with parents. Dealing with aggressive behavior in children takes patience and nurturing. 

Reward and punishment

Create a contract with your teen, in which they will be rewarded for their best behavior and  punished for unacceptable behavior. It encourages them to improve their behavior and act as responsible adults.

Be clear in your commands

If there is something really important to be done and you say things like "do this right now,” or "Because I said so!", there are high chances that you will get retaliation as a reply from your teen. Therefore, make sure that the message is clearly put across and your teen has understood it properly.

Set house rules

Like the rules in classrooms, parents should set some house rules and convey them properly to the kids. They should be told about the repercussions of breaking the rules. For example, everyone should be on the table, for dinner. So, anyone late or not present – without genuine excuse – should do the dishes later.

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