OUR teens can become emotional quite quickly when faced with something they cannot control.

This range of emotions can include feeling angry, anxious, fearful or sad. It is not always the case that we as parents must get involved as some of these emotions can be brief, but at other times they may continue or escalate and need to be dealt with.

If your teen approaches you with a problem, stop what you are doing and give them your full attention. If you are sitting down offer them a seat next to you.

Stay silent until they finish what they want to tell you while listening closely to what they’re saying. Do not interrupt, tell them they are wrong, or try to make them feel better.

Do ask questions though if you are finding it hard to follow what they are telling you.

When they have told you what is upsetting them, repeat what you think your teen is telling you in your own words. Check with them that you have understood what is bothering them. Encourage your teen to name the emotion they are feeling - it will be easier to help them if you can do this. You can then reassure them it is OK to feel that way.

It might be that all your teen wants from you is just to listen, or it might be they want you to help them come to a practical solution.

If your teen gets upset and refuses your help, then give them a cooling off period and offer your help when they are calm.

See: www.parentandbabycoach.co.uk

NEXT WEEK: Problem solving techniques