The power of a storm consumes all in its path to fuel its increasing intensity and damage. Everything it touches is dragged into this disturbed atmospheric state, often destroyed then cast aside. The calmest place to be is at the eye of the storm.
As parents we often experience ‘disturbed atmospheric states’ when our troubled teenagers (T.T.) erupt into fury for one reason or another, or indeed when we have other difficult relationships with partners or work colleagues. It is so easy after constant bombardment to be swept up into this angry fury, fuelling it further and resulting in further damage. In these situations we need to become ‘the eye of the storm’, the still, peaceful place in the center of this mayhem. This way we remain calm and controlled and can avoid being dragged into the frenzy, allowing us to peacefully buffer the negative energy affecting those around us.
How can we do this? Continue reading
Sometimes you have to say “No”.
You know it’s the right thing to do, but you know it won’t be well received.
It can be a stressful experience when we have to say “No” to our loved ones, to the extent that we may even back down or ‘give in’ rather than suffer the back-lash.
But it’s a job that often needs to be done so how can we make it easier? Continue reading
..but words will never harm me.
We have known this simple rhyme since childhood but how often do we get ourselves into trouble by unnecessary responses to words that don’t harm us?
When we live in close proximity to others, their cute little habits and idiosyncrasies may lose their charm when experienced 24/7. In addition to this when somebody in your family is experiencing some form of stress, irritability or mood swings, their responses and behaviour can become erratic, careless and hurtful.
How great is the temptation to fire a caustic comment in response?
“How dare he / she speak to me like that” and a million other thoughts flash through our head, before we know it we are verbalizing an unpleasant aggressive response just to “let them see who’s boss”. Continue reading
In Part 1 we looked at our own possible reactions to having an unpredictable teen in our family, and ways in which we could deal with any difficult states of mind, or delusions we may be experiencing, thereby improving our ability to support our teenager while retaining some degree of sanity!
The Buddhist term ‘delusion’ refers to negative minds such as anger, greed, jealousy, impatience, selfishness and attachment, which destroy our peace and wellbeing. However, positive states of mind such as love, generosity, patience and cherishing others, result only in happiness, both for ourselves and others around us.
It is vital not to label ourself with these negative minds, i.e. we are not inherently an angry person,or an impatient person etc, these are uncontrolled states of mind which arise within us. We know from our own experience that none of these minds are permanent, we may be very angry for a period of time but eventually this subsides. Our mind is like a balloon on the wind which is carried backwards and forwards out of our control, dragging us with it wherever it goes. This is why we can feel happy one minute and then maybe sad or irritable the next.
If we choose to label ourself in any way, we are perceiving ourself as something, that in fact , does not exist. We are not fixed or unchangeable, either physically, mentally, or in any other way . Continue reading
Are you living with Jekyll and Hyde?
If you are the parent of a teenager you would probably agree to this question. Even the gentlest journey through the teenage years can be an unpredictable ride, and for some its like living on “the Big Dipper” (or whatever the scariest rollercoasters are called these days).
A happy smiling teen one minute can turn into a roaring lion the next. Sometimes even the simplest question such as “Hi, how did your day go?”, produces a scowl that tells you “Just don’t go there”.
Communication lines can be intermittent or completely down when things get very icy. Either way your teenagers mood seems to change every time the wind blows. Unpredictable at best ,unmanageable at worst.
We may feel helpless,hurt,impatient or angry. Continue reading
“Do I really hate my own child?
What kind of obnoxious person am I, that I could possibly even think this way?”
If your T.T. (troubled teen) is now making an appearance as T.T. (terrifying teen) you may genuinely be living on the edge of your coping skills, verbally abused by somebody who is now taller and stronger than you, and is literally ‘in your face’, pulling themselves up to their full height, puffing out their chest and shouting just 15cm away from your face.
There may even be a threat of physical abuse thrown in for good measure.
For anyone who hasn’t experienced this, it is just as frightening as if a stranger had walked in off the street.
This is a stranger, you don’t know this person anymore, they are an unknown quantity bearing no resemblance to your (ex) fluffy bundle of joy, yet you have to calmly stand your ground and maintain control of the situation. It can be like living with a monster. Continue reading
Help! I am losing my mind!
This is how we can feel when we have experienced a difficult confrontation with our T.T. (troubled teen) . We are often overwhelmed by our angry mind, totally lose our cool and end up feeling drained, exhausted and are probably left with a thumping headache.
When this happens we have usually lost control of the situation and our T.T. knows they have found yet another way to wind us up!
Now in my experience these situations can become quite commonplace in the T.T. years (though you may be lucky and escape them!) so it’s a good idea to get a handle on them as soon as possible for everybody’s sake. By understanding anger and how it arises we can then look at the antidote.
We began in Part 1, (please click here if you missed it) and will now look a little deeper and explore the solution. Continue reading