• Solve Teen Behavior Problems Using Emotional Regulation | Lauren Spigelmyer | Episode 180

  • Teen behavior problemsWhat do you do when the teacher tells you your child is acting out or exhibiting other teen behavior problems? Or your teen is melting down or lighting things up at home? Behavior problems in teenagers can leave parents scratching their heads or on the verge of a meltdown themselves. The response is often to go into discipline mode. Lauren Spigelmyer is talking to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about another path, one without the power struggle. Lauren gives insights into how brain science can solve your teenager’s behavior issues. She shows us how we can help our kids feel better and behave better—and how to help ourselves along the way.


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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    Behavior is always communicating something & usually it is some type of need.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Teen Behavior Problems:

    Quote about teen behavior problemsTeen behavior problems usually stem from some type of stressor, a sensory or behavioral input from their environment that they can’t, or don’t know how to properly handle.

    Continued exposure to a stressor can increase your child’s tolerance for it, but that doesn’t teach them how to safely handle and process it.

    Common reactions to increased stress or sensory overload include isolation, shutting down, and not socializing (staying the corner).

    To reduce teen behavior problems, you want to “get to green”. Keep your teen in, or get them back into, the safe zone inside their heads.

    Reactive (get back to green):

      • Engage the downstairs brain
      • Breathing – use a simple, set breathing pattern (ex: in for 4 seconds, hold for 6, out for 3) and have them copy you
      • Touch: 
        • Certain pressure points, like the one between the eyebrows, engage the body’s healing mechanisms and can help with physical stress symptoms
        • Simple touch, like a hand on the arm, can be a sensory focus point and grounding
      • Movement – simple repetitive motion to help ground and soothe
      • Drinking some water
      • Eating a crunchy snack – uses jaw muscles, simple repetitive motion and sensory engagement to help return to neutral

    Preventative (stay in the green):

      • Keep the upstairs (thinking) brain engaged
      • Stretching 
      • Meditation 
        • Stationary or slow moving, a few minutes or a half-hour, music or ambient noise or silence 
        • Explore different types to find some that work
      • Physical activity – slow movements to slow the brain down
      • Gratitude practice – have them take a few minutes every day to just focus on good things, things they enjoy, what makes them happy

    Work with your teen to learn their behavior problems and stress-reduction solutions. What stresses them out? How do they show that? What helps them come back to their safe zone?

    Create plans with your child to recognize and handle stressors and emotional changes in different places, like school, church or a restaurant.

    Once you learn to recognize your teen’s emotional states and what signals a change or increase in stress, you can step in before the overload and help them stay in the green. 


    Returning to Us podcast by Lauren Spigelmeyer

    How Mentally Strong Parents Raise Mentally Strong Kids | Amy Morin | Episode 29

    Teen Behavior: Punishment vs Discipline vs Problem Solving | Cindy Kaplan | Episode 31

    The Surprising Reason Your Kid Is Acting Defiant and Difficult | Bill Beausay | Episode 58

    Handling Challenging Behavior In Teenagers | Christine Abrahams | Episode 162 

    Our Guest Lauren Spigelmyer:

    Lauren Spigelmyer discusses teen behavior problemsOver the past 10 years, I’ve helped SOOOO many people learn about the brain and how it impacts learning and emotional well-being, which in turn changes behavior. With my master’s degree in education, a background in coaching and professorship at University of Pennsylvania, I thrive on building brain and research-based, child-driven trainings and courses with the whole child in mind. Being an adventurer, I love to find nontraditional solutions and make sure that boundaries are pushed. You won’t get anything ordinary from me!

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://www.thebehaviorhub.com/ 

    Our Sponsors:

    Inward Bound Mindfulness Education— Mindfulness courses and retreats for teens and adults iBme offers online and in-person retreats, mindfulness courses, and weekly meditations tailored for various communities of teens and young adults. Visit iBme.com to learn more and register for programs including in-person and online summer retreats.

    Omio Travel-Booking Company