What is normal teenage behavior?
Parents: Let’s talk about YOU and your emotional well-being.
Some parents are overly concerned or continue to be worried about their teenager not being perfect. Despite being told by others that their teen has normal teenage behavior. Or despite being told by a therapist that their teenager is normal; they continue being worried.
We call this a defense. Sometimes, people get wrapped up in other people’s problems or concerns as a way to avoid what’s going on within themselves. Typically, this is an emotional issue.
If you are having trouble grieving the loss of your baby (teen), which is what a teenager highlights for you- the child that you had that is no longer around, it does set up grief within us. Some parents may become overly concerned about their child’s normal teenage behavior.
Grief involves sadness and anger. A lot of people have trouble with these emotions. If you’re one of them, then you will be delaying going through that grief. You’ll delay it by getting overly wrapped up in the details of your child. Of course, this isn’t good with the relationship for your child and can set your child up to have emotional or relational problems. That typically happens in people who are raised in families who did not deal with grief well.
If your primary relationship with your spouse is damaged, it’s possible you are unconsciously avoiding that by getting wrapped up in what your child is doing while not realizing your child’s behavior is normal teenage behavior.
Typically, I see this when there was a problem in the relationship before the children. The children became this great distraction. Especially if you are on the same page as your spouse on how to raise the children, it’s like a shared experience. When that ends, the relationship falls apart or hasn’t gotten any better so, it may be that you are having problems with your spouse that you need to address. If you’re using your kids to fix something between you, that’s certainly not going to work.
Turning emotions on yourself.
Turning emotions on yourself is another way for people who cannot express emotions well. An example of this include: chronic worrying or being overly concerned about their child’s normal teenage behavior. We’re all concerned about our kids but, if it goes on to the point where you aren’t doing normal activities or engaging with people in a healthy way, it may be a sign that you’re turning your anger and sadness at your child for growing up and leaving you, into “I am so horrible for thinking that, I deserve to be punished.”
If all signs are pointing to your child being normal and you still have these concerns that aren’t valid or that are chronic you may be having trouble with dealing with grief, having trouble with your significant other, or you may be turning the emotions on yourself.