In 2015, the Journal of Youth and Adolescence published a study that examined over 200 parents and their teenage children. Researchers sought to understand where communication gets lost between a parent and a teen leading to a growing amount of aggression on both sides. Teens don’t feel understood. Due to changing hormones and a developing brain, teenagers are in a vulnerable growth process of development. Forming their identities, embracing new emotions, and building their autonomy, teens can be restless, irritable, and discontent. Meeting a parent’s every word with retaliation, there are often wars in a household that used to have peace. Rather than seek to understand what their child is going through, parents are quick to label their teens’ emotional experiences, take it as a personal offense to parental authority, and refute with additional aggression. Often, parents unleash an undue amount of anger and frustration, which perpetuates the problem further. When teens in the study felt that their parents acted this way- beyond the expected amount of anger and negativity- the teens came back twice as strong. Most parents have heard “That’s not fair!” and have looked beyond the surface of their teenager’s exclaim. Sometimes, our responses as parents aren’t fair. We demean our teenagers’ autonomy in being an individual person for the sake of our parental authority. Unwilling to hear it, unwilling to talk about it, unwilling to spend another exhausting moment on it, we shut them up as abruptly as possible, not realizing how we are emotionally shutting them down. A teenager’s developing brain has not yet given them the ability to fully process and make sense of hormonally driven emotional experiences. Parents who say “That’s the end of it, because I said so” put children in a subservient, unfair position, one which does not support their emotional development. Problematically, teenagers could be acting out because of a developing mental health issue or worse- an addiction they are hiding. Kids will be kids. Teenagers will be teenagers. Increasing amount of brain imaging and behavioral studies are giving us an insight as to what is going on with our teenagers when their bad behavior has no answer. Thankfully, when it comes to a teenager who is living with active addiction to drugs and alcohol, there is an answer.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery offers a life-cleansing, foundation-building program to adolescent and teenage boys needing clinical care for addiction and/or alcoholism. Located in the remote Mississippi countryside, our beautiful home offers the perfect environment and privacy for total transformation in mind, body, and spirit.
Call us today for information on our programs for treatment and academic support: 662-598-4214