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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How to handle a teen's acting out in a way that's effective and compassionate

By Anastasia Pollock, MA, LCMHC


CREDIT: Shutterstock



Understand the whys, master the solutions with these tested tips


JewishWorldReview.com | "I am at my wits' end! I just don't know what to do with her!" This is usually the first statement I hear from a caregiver coming into therapy to address behavior problems in a teenager. When a teen is acting out behaviorally, caregivers are often left feeling helpless and hopeless that the situation can improve. They become exhausted and don't know what to say or do to help the teen. Here, I list tips that I give the caregivers who seek help from me that will help to better understand the teen and better your relationship during this sensitive time in his or her life.

DO NOT LABEL THE TEEN AS 'BAD'

The teen that is acting out is often branded as a "bad kid." But here is the thing: In my professional career, I have never met a "bad kid." I have met a lot of teens that are struggling with emotions, their identities and problems at home and school, but none of them have been bad at their core. When a teen acts out behaviorally, he is trying to send a message. The brains of adolescents have not yet fully developed, and they lack some of the skills most adults have to manage intense emotion. Add the fact that hormones are usually raging as they hit puberty and you have the perfect combination for your teen to start showing behavior problems.

Assuming that the teen is bad can impact how you react to the behaviors and can cause her to form negative beliefs about herself, which can seriously hurt self-esteem, confidence and any motivation she may have to change her behavior. In addition, this assumption can do major damage to the parent/child relationship, which can last into her adulthood.

I encourage parents and caregivers to send a clear message that you believe the teen is good at her core. It is certainly appropriate to point out behaviors which are not acceptable, but be specific about the behavior and do not generalize that behavior into his character. Example: "When you yelled at me, I felt hurt and disappointed because that behavior is disrespectful" instead of "You are so disrespectful and rude! What is wrong with you?"

DON'T TAKE THE WORDS AND BEHAVIORS PERSONALLY

This is easier said than done. Sometimes teens can say very hurtful things to a well-meaning caregiver. The situation worsens when the caregiver strikes back at the teen with a behavior or words motivated by that hurt, and the problem will most likely escalate and cause damage to the relationship.

Take some time for yourself to step back from the situation to give yourself space to process your emotions that come up as a result of the teen's verbalizations or behavior. It is OK to say "I need to take a moment for myself" and walk away. Allow yourself to feel the emotion you need to feel, and then remind yourself that the teen is hurting and lashing out. Her words and behaviors are about her emotional pain, not necessarily about you. Just make sure you come back to the issue later in order to address the behavior in the fashion outlined in the previous section.


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SEE THE BEHAVIORS AS SOMETHING THEY ARE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE

Kids of all ages use their behaviors to communicate with adults about things they cannot yet verbalize. Consider the baby who cries because he is hungry or uncomfortable. As children grow, they develop the ability to start using language to communicate their needs, but remember, as mentioned formerly, their brains are not completely developed in adolescence so they sometimes continue to use behaviors as a way to communicate.

When you see your teen acting out, think about the message he is likely trying to send. For example, "I hate you!" can mean "I am really confused and hate the way I feel right now," or "I hate feeling as though I don't have much control in my life."

Instead of reacting emotionally, follow through with the steps in the preceding section and then return to the situation when BOTH of you are calm and say something like, "It seems that there is a lot going on. Can you tell me what you are feeling so we can try to work this out?" At this point, listening is crucial. Even if you feel like what the teen is asking for is completely out of the question, making him feel heard and talking out the logic behind parental decisions can help him feel more involved and help them to accept whatever decision is made. Every teen I have had in therapy sends the same message about just wanting to be heard and understood.

GET OUTSIDE HELP

There are just some issues that a teen doesn't want to discuss with her parents or caregivers. This is when it is very important to make sure that she has someone to talk to like a therapist, school counselor or trusted aunt or uncle. Raising a child is much easier for both the parent and child when there are more people involved. This will take pressure off the parent and give the teen a person in whom she can confide those things they just don't want their parents to know.

BE WILLING TO MAKE CHANGES AT HOME

As I said earlier, I have never met a bad teen. I have consistently seen that although the teen is usually the identified patient in therapy, it is usually something happening systematically in the family that really needs to be addressed. If you seek therapy for your teen, be prepared to attend family sessions and parent sessions. These sessions are not a place for the therapist to tell you what you have been doing is wrong, but rather a place to get extra support and ideas to implement in the home that will bring about the change you desire. It is very hard for a teen to change behaviors when the parents are not willing to also make changes.

Keep in mind that being a teenager is hard. It is a time in life when we try to figure out who we are and where we fit in the world. It is also a time of drastic changes physically and emotionally. Having compassion for a teen can go a long way in starting the conversations that need to happen to address behavior issues.

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Anastasia Pollock, MA, LCMHC is Clinical Director at Life Stone Counseling Centers in Midvale, UT









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