Loving an Angry Teen

Nelly was a single mom who had been through many transitions with her two boys. A few years ago a challenging and unexpected divorce had been difficult for everyone and although she was happy to be relocating into a new home with her current partner juggling a blended family had not been easy. The eldest, 8th grader Alex, seemed particularly impacted by all that the family had been through.

For the last few months Alex had grown increasingly hostile, repeatedly asking her to leave him alone and criticizing almost everything that she did in his direction. When they had time alone it was sometimes easier but her hectic full time work schedule and the needs of the rest of her family left her with very little spare time.

After a difficult argument with Alex had Nelly feeling drained and upset she managed to remember all that Alex had been through and headed into his room to say good night. A few minutes earlier she had laid down with her younger boy to talk and she decided to try something similar with Alex.

Managing to avoid her usual frustrated response to his nasty comments she sat on the edge of his bed and eventually began rubbing his back something that had often helped him relax.

The room was quiet for a while before Alex started to cry. Remaining calm and steady Nelly listened as Alex told her how hard school had been this year something they had rarely discussed before. Lying together mother and son had some time to sort through lots of things that had been going on.

In the days that followed Alex was more relaxed and happy and Nelly was determined to find ways to understand and listen to her son. It was an imporatnt reminder that reaching for an upset child can make a diffenrce.