Stop Yourself From Getting Triggered By Your Teen's Revision Behaviour, Part Two

05/05/2017 13:58

It's exam season. It feels like every time you speak to your teenager about how they're getting on with their revision you get into a fight. You feel out of control, you desperately want to support them to do their best and you're ashamed of how you're failing in your interactions with them.

You're not alone. Parents all over the country are going through the same experience every day.

In this article I'm helping you to get back control when you're triggered by your teenager's revision behaviour. To find out how to prevent these situations from arising in the first place check out part 1 - you'll find the link on my HuffPost blogger profile.

1. Anticipate feeling triggered
If you know what kind of situations cause you to get triggered you can take positive steps to avoid them. For example, if you always get home from work, go to your teenager's bedroom and find them playing computer games and say 'Aren't you revising?', you're almost certainly going to run into an argument.

Instead, think about how you can gently announce your presence, ease into your teenager's company and when it would be best to ask the burning questions you have about their progress with their studies.

You're going to have to be patient to use this approach - but isn't that better than losing it?!

2. What are the physical signs that you're getting triggered?
I know that when something triggers me there are physical tell-tale signs that I'm about to lose it. My heart starts racing, my blood pressure rises and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Learn to recognise the early warning signs and have a plan for what you're going to do when they happen.

3. Breathe

Yes, I know you're breathing all the time anyway. But breathing deeply really helps to reduce those physical symptoms of stress. It tricks your body back into a more relaxed and controlled state so that you're able to respond to the situation in a more calm and measured way.

Even better, take up meditation. I know everyone's banging on about meditation these days - but it's because it works. I've been meditating (almost) daily for two years now and it's made a massive difference to how patient I am and how I deal with stressful situations. It's even helped me deal with moments that in the past would have triggered me but now I'm able to retain control and perspective a whole lot better.

4. Walk away
If deep breathing isn't working and you feel like you're just on the edge of losing it with your teenager, walk away. Explain why you're turning your back, or just go.

Get some fresh air, walk off your anger and then hatch a plan for how you're going to tackle the issue more successfully next time around.

5. Visualise a better conversation
Before you go back and try to have that conversation that got your hackles up again, visualise a better version of it. Rehearse the lines you'll say in your head and picture the outcome you want to achieve.

Planning your conversation and the options you've got as far as responses are concerned in advance, will really help you to achieve a better outcome next time you try to have that difficult conversation.

I hope these tips have given you something to think about and work with when you're having difficult conversations with your teenager this exam season.

Lucy Parsons is an academic coach and author of The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take. You can download The Supportive Parents Exam Season Toolkit for free daily ideas about how to empower yourself and support your child throughout exam season, without getting triggered! Lucy's website is www.lifemoreextraordinary.com.

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