Adolescence is a period of stress and storm. Erik Erickson said of the teenage years, the primary conflict that exists in the heart of every teenager is Identity vs. Role Confusion. Every parent's nightmare is when their child becomes a teenager. Any parent who has a teenager is probably familiar with the term conflict.
There are many misunderstandings that occur both with the parent and within the adolescent, himself/herself which when recognized and counseled would not only reduce conflict, but also strengthen their relationship. While arguments between a parent and their teen are not of itself a bad thing, the manner in which one chooses to resolve these disagreements is what ultimately determines the outcome and anxiety that each encounter.
Adolescents are searching for a clear understanding of who they are as individuals, and what is expected of them as an individual. Not only are they faced with emotional upheavals caused by an influx of hormones also their growing ability to rationalize as an adult, they must also compete with the inevitable physical changes that accompany young adulthood. As parents it will work out better if we understand the process and help them sail smoothly through the tough teen years.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS
For the most part, teens are rebellious, self-focused, argumentative, critical, and moody. Often, they can become aggressive, talking loudly, and otherwise being obnoxious.
These are typical warning signs that should signal the need for a counselors help. If your teenage child becomes physically aggressive with you or people outside the home, this is a sure sign that are out of control. Drug and alcohol abuse are definite cries for help. School absenteeism, inappropriate sexual behavior, running away, and breaking the law are all indications that it's time to obtain the professional help your teen needs. If you find you are continually overwhelmed, losing your temper, constantly yelling, hitting, or bullying your teen to maintain control and discipline, then this is also a good sign as an unbiased voice is needed to get things back on track. Parents should however, be able to recognize when these behaviors become self-destructive and dangerous to them or the individual or other family members or the community in general.
COUNSELING FOR PARENT/TEEN CONFLICT
We psychologists approach the parent teen conflict with an open mind, help them to open up channels of communications so that each view point is brought out and made to understand from the individuals point of view. Identifying the issues and working with them is an important part of counseling. Once the core issue of anger, helplessness, and confusion is addressed, the parent and teen will come to understand the importance of each one's role towards a common goal and help to create a good relationship. By helping to understand the teen's insecurity, identity and direction counselors help parents to become friendly and be a role model.