Dear Coach Richie: I don’t get it. I wake up in a good mood starting my day. I was feeding my 1 year old and talking to him and my 17 year old decided to fill me in on how much he doesn’t like me as a person. That my 1 year old doesn’t like me either but he needs me to survive. Not a conscious choice. This happened without any kind of provocation and is just crazy. Then he insulted me because he said I can’t handle the truth.
I don’t want this miserable anger to corrupt my 1 & 6 year old and am getting tired of it.
Coach Richie: He has lost his connection with you. Maybe the baby? Jealous of attention the baby is getting. What else is going on in the house that would make him feel hurt and would cause him to lash out at you? Teens are not programmed to be angry and hurtful. It is not a teen thing. It is a lack of connection to an adult. When they fail to connect with a parent they connect with friends and peers and as a result become influenced by them. What better way to fit it with others In their situation than to hate their parents and tell them. That is tribe mentality. So what do you think he needs right now? What is going on in his world right now? What did you need at his age? I love the advice to throw him out. So ridiculous we all have different experiences as parents and it is so easy for some to pass judgment and make a statement like this. You need to find a way to become his friend again. When as the last time you hugged him? The last time you spent some time with him without your other 2 children. He may be starving for your attention and anger is one way to get it. They are not mature enough to handle more than one emotion at a time. So anger it is because he can get a reaction out of you. What does he like to do? How can you build some rapport with him and become his friend? Do you respect him? Do you trust him? Have you asked him if he hates you? Have you expressed how you feel when he tells you he doesn’t like you as a person? What has been your response when he makes these mean comments? Have you asked him for help to understand what you have done wrong to make him say these hurtful things to you? His anger is masking his vulnerabilities and it keeps him safe in his tribe. How can you find a way to get past his anger and into his heart allowing him to be vulnerable with you. That is what we need in order to maintain our connections to our kids and be their friends. Hope some of these questions help you out. It is hard to deal with an unprovoked angry teenager. Unfortunately from their perspective they have been provoked and it is a mystery that is parents need to solve in order to discover a path through the anger.
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