Violent Behavior in Teenage Daughter

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Teenage Rage

It's important to understand that teens are on an emotional roller coaster. One minute they're charming and controlled, the next minute they're ranting and raving over a seemingly minor offense, such as a sibling using a favorite comb. Such behavior is normal and to be expected, to some degree. If your daughter yells at her twin sisters, and it is typical grouchy sibling banter, let it pass. However, if it is mean-spirited or verbally hurtful, step in -- calmly -- and let all parties know that you love them and that you won't allow one child to hurt another, either with words or actions. Before you try to address the situation, give everyone -- including yourself -- time to cool off. Then regroup later in a different setting and discuss the incident further.

Respond Don't React

When a teen shifts into high gear with anger-related behavior, the parent needs to shift into low gear. You can't put down anger with anger; you'll only aggravate the situation. Instead, use this opportunity to set an example for your daughter by responding calmly to a volatile situation. Additionally, you can't stop her physical attacks by punishing her. Telling her she will not receive anything until she starts respecting people and property is vague, ineffective, and it may only serve to further enrage her. If a child is ready to strike you or throw an object, move away. Follow the example of boxers in the ring when the bell sounds: Go to opposite corners. Or better yet, leave the room so that everyone can cool off. An angry child will usually stomp off to her room to either sulk or regain control. Eventually, the incident passes. When calmer, cooler heads preside, ask your child what is going on and spend some quiet time talking it over with her.


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