To go with your son’s adolescent growth-spurt, a nasty little temper might take over your teenager. Simple conversations can deteriorate into arguments. Basic rules twist into tyrannical edicts in his eyes. You might long for the peace of days past when the biggest complaint your agreeable little boy protested was his bedtime. However, you can take steps to address these overreactions and restore some peace and sanity into your home.
Causes of Overreacting
Before trying to correct these overreactions, consider the causes of it. It’s likely not all pure spoiled entitlement. Teens experience the throes of massive hormonal shifts that can often leave them feeling very emotionally erratic. On top of this, from age 12 and on, their brains begin rapid shifts in the prefrontal cortex. These changes can often impede a teen’s ability to step back from a conflict and think rationally. So what seems reasonable to you might seem radical to your son. Since the “rational” part of his brain has been compromised by the rapid changes, this leads to the overreactions.
Tools to Address Overreacting
The first step in dealing with this is to keep calm. Nothing amplifies overreactions like further emotional outbursts in response. You remember your own teen years — when your parents fought with you, you weren’t willing to consider their positions. When your son goes over the top in response to something, you can choose to keep a level head. In this way, you aren’t compromising your own emotional state, and you can take the appropriate steps to deal with the misbehavior.
Another tool you can use to help address this overreaction is to look at the reason behind the misbehavior. Your teen isn’t blowing up out of enjoyment. Analyze what set them off. Did something you say go against their expectations? Do they feel limited by your actions? Do they associate your words or actions with something unpleasant? Affirmations to these don’t mean that you are wrong. However, understanding your teen’s feelings can lead you to narrow your focus to the appropriate areas of concern.
Online Courses to Address Overreactions
You can take online courses to help you better address the emotional and behavioral issues facing your teenager. You might think it trite to reduce correcting overreacting behavior to something teachable in a “course.” However, don’t count it out the potential benefits of valuable tips and techniques offered in a structured curriculum designed by those who have been there before.
You might also need to enroll your son in a therapeutic boarding school to correct his behavior, especially if he is endangering himself or others. Again, these words come with negative connotations. While you should never abandon caution, these facilities very often bear little resemblance to the stereotypes. Instead, they might offer the solutions your teenage son needs.
When you feel discouraged, take comfort in knowing that many parents before you have successfully helped their teens navigate the road into adulthood. You completed the journey as well. While your son’s back talking stresses you out, you can navigate through it by using the tools available to you and remembering that a fruitful adulthood for your son comes out of these turbulent years.