Your teen has just told you that they hate you. Nothing pierces a parent’s heart like those dreaded words. Don’t take your teen’s outburst personally, however. Most likely their hormones are causing them to say and do things they wouldn’t have a few months ago.
Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager? Their hormones are shifting from day to day. They’re trying to assert their independence. They may also be feeling unsure of themselves because of all the changes taking place in their bodies. It’s no wonder they may strike out at you verbally. You’ve probably gone through it all before – possibly saying the same hurtful things – when you were a teen, so don’t be surprised.
Try to remember to accept the outbursts and distance as a part of the growing process. Your teen is going through so much. They could feel pressured to do well in school, or their friends may be asking them to do, or be, something they’re not sure about. Add to those pressures any difficulties they’re having at home or a possible part-time job, and your teen may be about to explode. No matter how hurtful their remarks may be, try not to blame them personally for having a meltdown.
Don’t react to negative outbursts. They really don’t mean to attack you personally; you just happen to be in the line of fire. Try your hardest to remain calm instead of shooting negativity back at them. Ignore what they say and remember that this too shall pass.
If you do react rather than remain calm when the verbal accost begins, step back, and suggest that you take a time out. Let your emotions cool down for a little while. This may take a couple of hours or even a day or so. When you’re both calm and can talk in a reasonable tone, try to discuss the problem that led to the outburst.
Remember that you’re not alone. There are parents all over the world that have teenagers going through similar hormone surges that are making them hard to live with, too. This phase isn’t going to last forever even though it may seem like it. You’re not alone in this and you can survive it just like your parents did and theirs before them.
Of course, knowing that something is common to parents and teens the world over doesn’t really help you get through the stress and hurtful words at the time they’re said. Relax, take a deep breath, and remember that this teen will once again be ‘normal,’ if there is such a thing for teenagers. While it’s important not to take teen outbursts personally, you’re not alone and you can become better friends on the other side when their hormones return to a reasonable level.