Responding to Teenagers

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“My daughter has an anger problem. I know she has been through a lot but she needs to stop using it as an excuse to get what she wants. I do everything for her and she means everything to me but I don’t get any appreciation in return… just attitude!” Does this quote from a devoted yet desperate parent sound familiar? Parenting a teenager is a challenge and parenting a teenager with a trauma history is additionally difficult. Before you know it, this child’s negative attitude affects the entire family! How is a parent to know when to excuse behavior of a child who is struggling from previous trauma as opposed to punishing her so she doesn’t do it again. As a parent, you want to empathize and validate you child’s pain, yet redirecting behavior is also important to keep them learning right from wrong on their journey to develop as a responsible adult.