Managing the behaviours and unforseen actions of your children is what makes parenting a little bit difficult. And a lot of patience is required when you have one that continuously throw tantrums.
When caring for a toddler for example, you would often have challenges with them refusing to eat a kind of food you have provided or a even wear clothes you worked so hard to afford for them, they’ll just refuse to wear it for a reason you will never understand. All these requires immense patience.
Most children will directly or indirectly test and act out different numerous actions to study your level of response and patience. They do this to make themselves aware of the boundaries they can cross when around you.
One might believe that as these young children grow into teenagers, parenting would become more straightforward. However, that’s a misconception. Most of the challenges you will have with them will often emerge during their teenage years. This is where your experience comes into play. If you are new to parenting, you might need to tap into your own childhood memories with your parents to compliment whatever approach you are adopting to help your child.
Teenagers are undergoing a pivotal developmental phase, with external influences like fiends and what they see around playing a significant role. It’s not just the values taught at home shaping their perspectives anymore. Television, peer conversations, and new experiences are constantly moulding their worldview.
As they mature and become more informed, they naturally strive for greater independence. This drive for autonomy, combined with the influence of puberty, contributes to emotional turmoil. From the age of 10 to 18, these emotional upheavals manifest in varying ways, often as tantrums. While for some it’s expressed through shouting, for others it might involve physical acts like breaking objects.
These behaviours, driven by surging growth hormones, can be puzzling and challenging for parents. However, recognising that such outbursts are a common part of their growth is essential.
Factors Contributing to Teenage Tantrums
1. Self-Esteem Issues: You know they see their friends and even adults around them. For a child who is struggling to speak like others do or act with similar confidence as their friends, the chances of throwing tantrum is high. This often results in them sounding aggressive or brusque due to their inability to communicate effectively.
2. Undiagnosed Mental Conditions: Various mental health conditions could influence a teenager’s mood swings. Disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be culprits. The symptoms might be erratic; they could be jubilant one moment and aggressively rearrange their belongings the next.
3. Unavailable Parents: When children live with parents who are never at home or present for them, it could lead to so many changes in behavioural patterns. For instance, the child may have developed a sense of independence in their absense. So, when the parents eventually make themselves available and start to act in a way that undermines their independence, they will most likely retaliate with an unfavourable behaviour.
4. Unresolved Family Issues: Teenagers who’ve experienced their parents separating can sometimes face a void in parental guidance, especially if one parent isn’t fully present. This lack of stability might result in emotional meltdowns subsequently leading to tantrums.
5. Peer Pressure: Children are often influenced by their friends which often causes changes in their behaviours, values and attitudes. When great care is not taken, they get pressured to comform or align with group norms. Although this may sometimes be good for them but when it turns out negatively, it may lead to loss of identity, harmful behaviours and sometimes mental health challenges.
6. Grief: When a child is grieving, they might not always have that vocabulary or emotional maturity to communicate their feelings. Tantrums can become an outlet for this overwhelming emotion. The grief from losing a beloved pet, for instance, can cause recurring emotional outbursts.
It’s essential to investigate if external bullying might be the root cause of tantrums. When a child is being bullied, the emotional and psychological toll can manifest in their various behaviours, including tantrums and if they find it challenging to confront their bullies, they might vent their frustrations through tantrums at home.
Steps to Address Teenage Tantrums
1. Establish Open Communication: The most important step to teenage tantrum is to sit your teenager down and have a heart-to-hear converstioan with them. Remember not to converse with them as mostly an authoritative figure but as an empathetic confidant. Relate to their experiences and challenges, ensuring they know you’ve been in their shoes before. By positioning yourself as someone who wants to help them navigate their emotions, you build trust.
2. Understand Their Challenges: The source of their unwaranted behaviours extend beyond the home. Teenagers face pressures from school, peers, and sometimes, even from themselves. When your child is trying so hard to meet or beat your expectations for them, they ignorantly mount pressures on themselves as well. Recognising when these pressures become too much and adjusting your expectations can make a world of difference.
3. Empower Them to Identify Issues and Solutions: It is important for you to encourage and empower your child to be confident in identifying and providing solutions to the best of their abilities. It is also important that they know they may not always be able to solve all problems, make them know that, sometimes, it is okay to ask for help. As trust deepens, they’ll be more forthcoming about their struggles. At this level, together you can find the way for addressing the root causes of their outbursts and collaboratively finding solutions.
4. Develop Tangible Strategies for Emotional Regulation: A written agreement, perhaps a mantra they can reflect on daily, can serve as a reminder. For instance, instructing them to pause and reflect when faced with emotional hurdles can be invaluable.
5. Reward Positive Behaviour: While you put so much effort into handling your child’s tantrums, reinforcing good conduct through rewards, whether it’s a long-desired pet or another motivational gift, can further instil a positive attitude.
In conclusion, when teenagers exhibit tantrums, it often stems from their struggle with managing emotions. The key is to equip them with the skills and understanding to process these feelings effectively, ensuring they don’t accumulate and exacerbate.