My child is angry

My child is angry. I support young people who are described as having teenage anger. I have written previously about teenage anger and how as a society we have created a narrative that makes it hard for young people to speak up about issues that concern them without them being labelled as hormonal and irrational.

It may be hard to read but when I am asked to help a young person I do not refer to a catalogue of phrases, or smart ways of looking at things, that I have found has helped me in the past and that I think will change a young person’s way of presenting themselves.

I don’t do this because anger has a cause and unless a person, young or old, feels safe and understood it is unlikely that they will be able to listen to instructions about how they conduct themselves.  

In this blog I present the words of the young people I work with. I have not altered these words because then you would be reading an interpretation and things can be so easily lost and muddled in translation. They apply to the lives of young people at school and at home.

So here are some of the suggestions and requests that young people make to the adults in their lives:

  • Don’t dictate to me, it makes me feel like I have to defend myself.
  • Respect me and try to understand me. You don’t have to understand or care about my whole life but at least, for the time I am with you, try and make an effort to understand what it’s like to be me.
  • Don’t expect kids to go to adults to sort out a problem because they could be nervous about doing this because the adults have all the power. Anyway there might be some difficult history between the kid and the adult so to help the kid understand that the adult wants to sort things out in a calm way the adult should go to the kid first.
  • Show some common decency and don’t make us feel that we have no choice and that we are cornered. We’re bound to get angry and scared
  • We are not friends, you are the parents and the teachers and should show us how to be with each other and teach us the right way
  • Understand that I have struggles and dilemmas in life just like you do 

If you would like to find out a little more about the way I work and about how I might be able to help you, or someone you love, then please do feel free to get in touch with me, I would be happy to talk you through the way I work and how I think I can help.