Searching for solutions to an increase in teen aggression

BUFFALO, NY — After fights broke out among teens at football games, haunted houses and homecoming dances, 7 News wanted to hear from the community about solutions to stop these acts of violence.

According to the CDC, three in five teenage girls, or 57%, felt sad or hopelessness in 2021, that’s double the number of teenage boys.

Mental Health Therapist Lynne Shine says because anxiety and anger look the same, the teens must be working with their parents on how to communicate their emotions better.

“When you’re shaming a child at any age and versus just talking to them. If you’re angry about something they’re doing, make sure you’re telling them that you’re angry about what they’re doing and you’re not angry at them. Because if someone is shame based that they don’t feel good about themselves as a person. You’re going to see a lot of aggressive behavior because they’re protecting themselves at all costs.”

Lynne Rifkin Shine, LMHC, CRC

Due to the violent acts Sweet Home School District is hosting a parent safety forum on October 11.

To bring parents into the fold in conversations related to safety, or upset about something that was said on social media or feel threatened or bullied or what have you then? There are mental health issues that accompany that.

The district will be working with Amherst police to form a collaboration together to inform the community about the risks of sending threats on social media.

Honestly, the biggest thing that I hope they take away from us is that we need their help, We need their collaboration. We need their assistance to create this safe environment if we come to their house to talk to them or their child. There’s a reason we’re there and we need them to help us to make sure that everybody is safe. Including their child.

Parents are concerned for the children of other parents and hope the few teens who are causing trouble get an outlet.

Well, we have family rules like you’re going out in public. These are the rules. These are what we expect. If you’re not gonna follow the rules, then you’re going to have a punishment. And I was a teenager. My kids are teenagers. They’re going to make mistakes. It’s my job as the father and my mom’s job is to set the rules and hold them accountable.

For the program Most Valuable Parent, they hope to break barriers in place for parents who are struggling and teens who may need an outlet.

We provide something that they want to do, in a fun environment but also give them a space to heal, and they can be vulnerable and talk about whats going on inside

Hayley Kasprzycki says communication is key when addressing concerns with children and young adults. She says conversations can sometimes be difficult, but shared this advice.

“When I’m in that position my goal is, you’re right, I don’t, why don’t you explain it to me? Allow me to meet on your level so that I can do what I can to give you some support, give you guidance, or be another ear that you can talk to. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Sometimes using other tools to get there, but I think communication is definitely key. They need to be heard, and a lot of times they are not being heard, even if from the adult perspective you think they are”

Full article and video can be viewed here.