In Ireland we always addressed a married female teacher as ‘mam’

The adolescent life stage is a particularly difficult one for the human. That stage stretches from about thirteen to nineteen years, or even later. Early and mid-adolescence bring painful challenges. Teenagers in that stage are dealing with profound physical changes and emotional upheaval. Their emotional responses become more intense, heightened and easily triggered. Parents can be bewildered by the startling changes they see in their children as their brain develops in an extraordinary and complex way. Teenagers themselves may become equally bewildered and troubled at the intensity of their feelings, including their anger.
I have researched several works on teenage anger and I recommend Nick Luxmoore’s book, Working with Anger and Young People. Nick is an English psychotherapist and school counsellor, and he highlights many issues that provoke anger in teens. The most prominent ones are body image problems, feeling left out, being hurt by negative comments from parents, being disrespected, disregarded, run down, criticised, losing a relationship, being bullied, bereaved, suffering loneliness and, above all, experiencing abandonment. Anger can be seen as a defence against all of these, masking the hurt and the fear. The feeling of anger must be allowed and acknowledged and then the pain, hurt and fear explored. That does not mean allowing teenagers to inflict their anger on others, including a parent or teacher.
What is really problematic in dealing with teenagers is trying to help those who are unable to properly express their anger, who have been ‘taught’ at home that anger is not a nice feeling, that good children do not get angry, or, on the contrary, that anger is the only way to communicate. There is also the question of how comfortable a teenager feels in second level school. Some therapists use the word attachment for this and see schools as unconsciously offering a mothering experience. That is a thought that might make teachers, who rightly wish to keep boundaries clear, uncomfortable. It is probably more relevant at primary school level. I recall that as a young child we always addressed a married female teacher as ‘mam’! It is possible to be warm and nurturing and yet keep appropriate boundaries.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
COUNSELLING TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD
ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
FEAR
ANGER
JEALOUSY
CHILDHOOD DISTRESS

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