Editor's Note: This post is from guest author Michele Slater
Let's face it, it's the rare teenager that doesn't have some form of rage. Whether it's because you've said no to something they want or want to do, or you can't afford the latest in technological gadget, the anger is there, underlying and waiting for the next obstacle they perceive you throw in their way.
To navigate these stormy waters it might help to sit and think about your own teenage years. What set you off? The problems may not be the same, but you can remember how you felt at the time. This exercise will help you respect how they are feeling even when what they are saying sounds ridiculous. Keep in mind teens don't want to listen to long diatribes on when you were a teen and what you did or didn't have. They can't relate to it and in general, aren't interested. Their world is their universe and they aren't interested in yours, so it's important to remember this when talking to them or maybe more importantly, when listening to them.
Focus on them, give them lots of room to tell their story in their time. This quality of respect goes a long way with teens. Both of my children, my daughter more than my son, were combative and angry. By constantly reinforcing my love and respect for them, they became more loving and less combative. Today, both of my children live out of the house. My daughter moved to Boston for school and my son lives close by. Both of them are loving, helpful and respectful. Both of them quickly and honestly share with me their activities and who they are spending time with. This is the ultimate of peace of mind.
Teen anger and hostility, the "I hate you" moments will come, but with love and understanding, they pass quickly.