Teenage angst is defined as feeling misunderstood and confused with the purpose of life. Teenagers experience anxiety about what’s going on in their lives and what they want to do for themselves. As a parent, you may ask how you can help your teen with teenage angst?
It’s important to understand that teenage angst is a normal part of life. Due to the physical changes of puberty and emotional rollercoaster, it’s expected for teens to feel this way. They are growing into their new bodies, experiencing an increase in hormones, and aren’t too happy about it.
With challenging schoolwork, messy friendships, or other related triggers, teens can react with frustration. However, if handled properly and supported properly, they can grow into mature adults from this process.
To you, the parent, it may feel like your teen is just trying to get under your skin. You may view your teen as too irritable, lazy, or irresponsible. It may feel like you are arch nemesis with them as well.
All in all, the two of you can’t seem to find common ground. They are frustrated and feel misunderstood, and you think they are being dramatic or rude about it. At the end of the day, you are family. It takes letting pride down to try to level with them.
Putting in effort to combat teenage angst together is what really matters. Being able to understand that your teen will not always be pleasant, and it’s not personal.
In teen therapy near Thousand Oaks, Ca, therapists are here to support the family unit as a whole.
Understand where it’s coming from
The world can be overwhelming to teenagers. They’re at a time in their lives where they are bombarded with reality. It may be uncomfortable to start anticipating their future and discover their interests.
It can feel easier to shy away from the responsibilities and push it off. The anxiety of trying to figure out life’s purpose can be exhausting for them.
On top of that, your teen is probably comparing themselves to their peers. These comparisons are of appearance, personality, social status, how many friends they have. They may compare whether or not their peers have more stable goals.
You were a teen once – you know what it feels like. It can be lonely and difficult to navigate. Friendships and relationships can set them up for disaster and fall through.
Consider having a serious conversation to get them to open up to you. Although it can feel difficult to maneuver, however it’s the first step in connecting with each other.
Teen therapy near Simi Valley, Ca, provides teens with the coping mechanisms they need to regulate their emotions.
Actively listen to their concerns and engage in conversation
By actively listening to them, they will feel more comfortable in being vulnerable. By listening, you don’t need to try and resolve every issue for them. Matter of fact, it’s best to simply listen, acknowledge them, and thank them for sharing.
Parents want to help their children succeed. It makes perfect sense why you’d want to resolve every problem they are facing. However, it’s important that they are able to see they can overcome these issues.
Engage in conversation with them about the next steps they plan to take. If they are feeling overwhelmed with school, see if they can come up with a plan to create a set schedule for homework. Maybe you can engage about what makes them anxious and why.
If you see your teen engaging in substance abuse, learn more about what that means and why they might be doing it. Substances can ease the stress for them, but can turn into a learned associated behavior.
Just having their parents be there for them means a lot to teens. They just want to feel safe and secure in their difficult feelings. Having you nod your head and repeat back to them what they just told you can do a lot.
Connecting with your teen doesn’t have to feel like a puzzle! Find common interests for activities with each other, and use that time to reconnect.
Avoid taking it personally
It can be easy to take the angst personally. You may feel like you’re doing something wrong to induce this. The teenage angst can cause tension between the family and leave everyone feeling hurt and misunderstood.
It’s important to know that when your teen is grumpy, it’s most likely not because of you. They are trying to take in the world around them, and it can be overwhelming. Feeling anxiety or depression from factors in their lives, they may be irritable or rash.
By not taking it as an attack on yourself, you create the space for them to express their feelings. This isn’t to say that it can be tolerated or should be tolerated. As a parent, you want to know that you and your child equally respect each other.
To avoid taking it personally, use I statements to express how you feel. This can look like, “I know you have a lot going on at school right now, but I feel hurt when you yell at me. I just want to help you, and I feel pushed away and put down by you”.
Create room for apologizing, forgiving, and creating game plans together. You can also model the desired behavior to your teen. Learn how to guide your angry teen here.
If you get upset over something, end the conversation by apologizing for raising your voice. Your teen should also practice apologizing for releasing steam on you when they get upset.
It’s a two way street to help them with teenage angst, and it’s important that they also recognize their involvement in it. Due to being a teenager, it can be hard to self regulate their emotions.
Practicing these baby steps, understanding each other, and forgiving each other will bring lots of success in overcoming the angst together.
Consider family therapy
Nevertheless, your family may encounter conflicts that require additional support. If you and your teen are still seeming to misunderstand each other, consider trying out family therapy.
Family therapy provides a safe space for everyone to be vulnerable, share their hurt feelings, and expectations of each other. It can also provide new perspectives for everyone. It’s important to be open minded in family therapy.
Family therapy doesn’t look like changing your teen inside and out, but giving them space to express themselves. Miscommunication and animosity are big factors in not wanting to hear out the other individual.
Teenage angst can leave everyone feeling drained and overwhelmed – not just the teen. Understand that support is here for you as well. Family therapy is all about making sure everyone has proper coping mechanisms, tools, and improved communication.
Thinking about starting family therapy or teen therapy? Learn more about Simi Psychological Group today!
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At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.