Our teens experience many overwhelming emotions, which can be uncomfortable for them, not to mention challenging to navigate as a parent or caregiver.
The emotional range our teens may experience may be anywhere from mild frustrations to intense anger, anxiety, sadness and happiness.
As parents we may see these feelings carried out in behaviors such as joking around, avoidance, screaming, and/or throwing things, etc. All of these behaviors are actions from experiencing an emotion.
Oftentimes, we may feel quick to jump in and try to solve a problem for our teen. Although this may feel effective in the moment, we could be missing important things our teens may be trying to tell us. This is because our emotions serve many functions.
WHAT DO EMOTIONS TELL US??
Emotions give us information and communicates to others.
They are a way for your teen to communicate and share an experience with you. Your teen may be smiling which lets you share in their happiness. When your teen is yelling they could be communicating that they feel frustrated.
Emotions motivate us.
They can help your teen accomplish tasks. For example, when your teen feels anxious they may feel more inclined to study. If your teen experiences anger, they may be more motivated to stand up for themselves.
Emotions help us feel connected.
When your teen experiences intense feelings, they may often feel open to others who demonstrate empathy and bring a sense of calmness. Teens also use feelings to feel connected to themselves. Anger can be used to validate our own feelings and perspective.
As a parent, by being mindful and attuned to your teen’s emotions in the moment, you can help decrease behavioral problems by listening to what their emotions are trying to communicate.