How to Parent an Aggressive Teenager


By Ujjwala Thukral

Honest, respectful communication is vital to a healthy family. But what if, parents ignore this fact and carry out a disrespectful way of communication with each other as well as with their children?

Have you realized that you are actually generating mild rebelliousness in your child?The punches we throw in jubilation, the cuss words we use in despair, and even our aggressive body language makes our young teenagers rebellious and agitated. We should think rationally what we will get by display of our aggression.
Ankit (aged 13 years) came home furious. He ran inside to his room and slammed the door. On hearing the commotion, his mom Geeta, rushed to his bedroom wondering what happened. She reached a room that was strewn with articles, some even broken. It took a second for Geeta to realize as to what had happened and she was able to duck a pencil box that was hurled at her accidentally. All this coupled with Ankit’s screaming and anger. Geeta shouted at Ankit and when she asked what happened, he retorted with tears brimming his eyes, “Ajay is stupid. He did not allow me to bat today. When I grabbed his bat, he pushed me to the floor and hit me with his bat.” As Ankit turned towards her, Geeta realized that he was bleeding from his forehead. She rushed him to the hospital to get some stitches.

Geeta knew that Ankit’s aggression is arising from the frustration that is building up from his access to blocked goals. While frustration does not always result in aggression, it may result in “aggressive inclinations”, which in concert with other factors; increase the probability of aggressive responding.High levels of aggressive behaviour are seen as resulting from experiences when a child has been directly reinforced for aggressive responding. When a teenager acts out violently, it is important to keep your cool and talk to the teenager firmly. Hold him/her by his/her shoulders and then say an emphatic no. Physical restraint also helps your child to calm down. Finally, you must reinforce and reward non-violent behaviour in the child. Praise him for not resorting to violence.

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