5 Ways to Help Your Child – the Drama Queen
The school year is well under way and the holidays are around the corner. Right about now is when adolescent drama increases. In case you don’t know what “drama” is, it’s when a person makes a big deal of something that should’t be, or when someone makes problems or perceives intentions, conversations, or motives as a problem. At least that’s how the junior high students I work with define drama.
While it’s hard when your child is a victim of drama, it’s difficult realizing your child may be THE drama queen or king.
So, what should you do if your child is the source of emotional theatrics?
Acknowledge it. As much as you want to blame another person for provoking your child, acknowledging the role your child has in dramatic behavior is the first step in dealing with it.
Confront compassionately. Ignoring the behavior won’t help your child, their long-term relationships or social skills. Confronting them with care and compassion opens the door for them to hear what you’re saying even though they push against it
Model better behavior and conversations. Working with junior highers has taught me kids realize how silly they sound when you repeat the words they’re using and role-play the behavior they’re exhibiting. Model more appropriate ways to respond to situations. Discuss how their words makes others feel.
Beware of enabling. Dramatic people will manipulate with their emotions. If you find yourself backing down because you’re afraid of how your child will respond, you may be enabling your child’s behavior. Step back and look at the situation. Be willing to establish boundaries with your teen as needed.
Don’t dismiss other problems. While teen drama is attributed to heightened emotions and hormones, repetitive, unhealthy and out-of-the-ordinary drama may be symptoms of deeper problems or mental heath issues. In these cases, reach out to medical or mental health professionals. They’ll look at your child’s level of emotionalism and whether it’s impairing their relationships, school work, and general functioning. Get your child help while they’re under your care so they can learn social, emotional and relational skills that’ll help them for a lifetime.
Drama isn’t all bad – that energy becomes passion when generated in the right direction. Take a moment and assess your child’s level of drama. How can you best help them this holiday season?
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