How to help your teen deal with an emotional crisis

Adolescence is a time of intense emotions, some of which are sometimes difficult to deal with. We spoke to Lisa Damour, teenage psychologist, best-selling author, regular contributor to the New York Times and mother of two on how parents can help their children deal with intense or complicated emotions.


Annotation : If this general advice can help most parents deal with these difficult situations, it should not be forgotten that certain anger or emotional crises may be associated with developmental disabilities (delayed language acquisition, hearing or vision problems, behavioral problems) that require targeted treatment by a specialist. Do not hesitate to consult if you think that the emotions your child is feeling are the symptom of a deeper malaise.


What is an Emotional Crisis?

Emotional crisis or emotional breakdown is a phenomenon that affects children of all ages and is characterized by an overflow of negative emotions (fear, anger, frustration, etc.).

How does an emotional crisis manifest itself in children who have already reached a certain age?

When children who can already put their feelings into words feel overwhelmed, they may burst into tears, hyperventilate, or become angry. After a certain age, the seizure occurs less often in a public place because the child is embarrassed. On the other hand, the crisis may very well occur at home. For example, teenagers hold back at school all day and break out when they get home at night.

What if my teen is going through an emotional crisis?

Here are nine recommendations from Dright Of the love. Wait a little between each step to see if it worked. Otherwise, continue to the next.

1. Listen without interrupting

At a certain age, children can go through an emotional crisis, about which they tell a disturbing story. In this case, it’s best to let them go to the end. Sometimes adults interrupt, believing they are doing the right thing, or offer suggestions: even if this is done with good intentions, it is necessary to forget that simply expressing one’s feelings is a form of relief in itself.

2. Show sincere empathy

Most of the time, verbalizing your emotions is a relief. After you’ve shown you’re listening, you can support your teen by showing empathy, like saying “it’s horrible” or “I’m sorry for you.”

3. Acknowledge their concerns

Validation is a very effective process, especially with young people. Sometimes they think that the intensity of their emotions is a sign that something is wrong with them. On the one hand they are upset, on the other hand they are a little afraid of the intensity of what they are feeling.

It is very comforting for her to hear herself say, “Your feelings are perfectly legitimate and I understand that you are having that reaction. On the other hand, when the adults tell them: “Why are you reacting like this? There are people who suffer a lot more than you! The risk is that they not only feel bad, but also feel guilty. In other words, trying to put your teen in the spotlight isn’t always what works best, contrary to what some parents hope.

4. Help him preserve himself

Most of the time, these first three steps are enough to help your child. But if they don’t bring the relief you’re expecting, it’s always possible to teach your teen how to get his emotions under control again. One way to do this is to help him find comfort. Talk to her about some techniques to make you feel better, like slow, deep breathing.

It is true that abdominal breathing has a calming effect and helps oxygenate the lungs. Quick start Guide:

  • Put your hand on your stomach.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose for 5 seconds and breathe out deeply through your mouth for 5 seconds; Repeat this gesture 5 times.
  • On inspiration, the abdomen swells like a balloon; When you exhale, the balloon slowly deflates.

5. Trust Him with all your heart

Have words of comfort. Say something like, “I know it’s hard, but don’t worry, these intense emotions won’t last” or “Even though it’s very hard right now, I’m impressed with how you’re handling it and the fact that that we can talk openly about it, you and me”.

6. Offer to help

If listening, validating, or reassuring didn’t work, the next step is to offer help to resolve the issue. Ask your teen if they need help instead of giving advice so as not to block the discussion. Sometimes he or she will tell you, “No, I just need to vent,” and you will know that he or she just needs to listen. And if, on the contrary, they answer you yes, then they will be much more receptive to your advice.

7. Split the problem in half

As your child accepts your help, it can be helpful to divide their difficulties into two categories: things that can be done and things that cannot be done.

8. For things that you can do something about, think about possible solutions

Help your teen focus their attention on finding constructive solutions.

9. For the things you can’t do anything about, fight for acceptance.

Encourage your teen to do whatever it takes to accept problems that don’t have easy solutions. A good technique is to ask the energy question, “You don’t have unlimited energy, so you’d better save it for what you can actually do.” Don’t waste it on things you have no control over. “.

#teen #deal #emotional #crisis

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