Dealing With Teenage Anger? 7 Ways To Help An Angry Teen
One of the most difficult phases in a person’s life is the teenage years. Whether it’s your life, your child’s, or your subling’s, navigating smoothly when it comes to teen years is not just probable.
The constant outbursts, eye-rolls, and being dramatic – are all part of being or having a teenager. Teens, let’s be honest, are more likely to be overdramatic and petulant but when their outbursts go out of control, it becomes a concern.
But what to do with an angry teenager? How to handle teenage anger?
Dealing with teenage anger and outbursts can be quite challenging and this blog will help you understand what is the difference between teen angst and teen anger and how you, as a parent, guardian, or older sibling can help the teen in your house control their anger.
Teen Angst vs Teen Anger
Lately, I’ve heard people use the term angst a lot but when we talk about a teenager, it can be difficult to define the term angst. In simple terms, angst is the feeling of dread, anxiety, or unease while anger can be described as a feeling of annoyance, hostility, and rage.
For instance, a teen might feel anxious or worried about taking an exam which can make their mood gloomy and negative. This kind of instance can be termed as ‘teen angst’. However, in the same instance, if a teen fails or does less than expected on the exam, they might express their displeasure by snapping at others. This kind of reaction can be termed as ‘teen anger’.
Teenagers who are prone to anxiety are more likely to be angry or develop anger issues. And while angst and anger can follow each other, there’s a slight possibility that a teen’s anger is a result of a teen’s angst.
Why Teens Are Prone To Anger?
One of the main reasons teens develop anger issues or become angry can be because of the hormonal changes that occur in their bodies during puberty. The hormonal changes can make teens more expressive and vulnerable to emotions.
Another reason for teenage anger can be the high level of stress they have to deal with everyday – whether it be school work, academic performance, peer pressure, or parental pressure. The stress they feel almost daily can make them act in a hostile way if they don’t have healthy outlets for their emotions.
Teenagers crave independence. As they grow older they desire autonomy and a right to make their own decisions. If they are constantly under pressure and if a parent or a guardian continues to rebuff their decisions, a teen is more likely to experience anger and frustration.
Parents, please keep in mind that even though your teen is snapping at you and expressing their anger, it is normal. Anger is a strong emotion but it can be a response to fear and stress. In some cases, especially in a teen’s, anger is a self-defense mechanism and can be triggered by the fight or flight response.
Anger isn’t the problem, it is the aggression that should be of concern.
How To Deal With An Angry Teenager?
Here are 7 effective ways that can help you help your teen and their anger:
1. Present A Good Example
Teens pick up what they hear, see, and experience. It is very important to set a good example for your teen to follow. If you can’t handle your anger, they will not know how to handle theirs either. No one is a master at anger management but if you set an example on how to control emotions, it will help your teen learn to control theirs.
If you get angry and lose your temper on small things, it will only encourage your teen to act that way. So present a good example for your teen before you expect them to do anything else.
2. Keep An Eye On Their Influences
Teenagers are more likely to be influenced by their peers and social media – the two things they spend their time with most. I’m not saying that you spy on them and track them constantly. Doing this will only take the trust out of your relationship with your teen. Trust them to make their own choices but keep an eye on their influences.
Maybe their anger is a new habit they’ve picked up from a peer or maybe their aggression is because of a video they saw on social media. Stay vigilant and trust your teen to make the right choices. If they veer off from their path, gently turn them back towards it.
3. Set Rules And Boundaries
You need to let your teen understand that they alone are responsible for their actions. Make sure you set defined rules and boundaries with your teen. Let them understand that their anger and aggressive actions will not be tolerated beyond a limit. They need to understand what the consequences of their actions will be if they break the rules.
Be clear and firm with your rules and boundaries. Make sure that they respect your wishes and that you respect theirs in return. Don’t be afraid to dole out relevant punishments either. Learning to respect boundaries is something that will help them in the future.
4. Listen To Them
Sometimes a teen might need to vent to a trusted and safe person. Let them know that you are there if they need to express their feelings or need someone to talk to and listen to their problems. Let them know that you are their safe space and that they can come to you.
Instead of dismissing their concerns – no matter how big or small – validate their concerns and just listen. Do not offer them any advice until they ask you to. Unsolicited advice may not always be received with kindness.
5. Give Them Space
As difficult as it may sound, giving your teen space is the right thing to do when their anger and aggression are out of control. Sometimes, it is best to let teenagers figure things out for themselves. However, you can be there for them when they do need a helping hand and an ear to listen to their problems. Do not force them to open up though.
6. Encourage Them To Open Up
One of the biggest reasons why a teen may lash out in anger is because they are not unable to express their feelings openly. They don’t know how to express their emotions. It’s your responsibility as a parent or a guardian to encourage your teen to open up about their feelings and what’s bothering them.
Together, you can come up with constructive ways to help them express their emotions such as journaling, engaging in physical exercises, meditation, deep breathing, or listening to music.
7. Stay In Control Of Your Emotions
Listening or seeing your teen lose their temper can affect you as well. In such circumstances, try to remain calm and in control of your emotions. Teens are unable to see how their words and actions affect others. If you lose your temper, it’ll make them more aggressive and volatile. Your loss of control of your emotions will only provoke them and will inadvertently set a bad example on managing anger.
When Teen Anger Can Be Troublesome?
Normally, teenagers are prone to mood swings, changes in behavioral, and emotional outbursts but if a teenager keeps getting in trouble at school and home, it can be quite a concern. If your teen is skipping school, engaging in at-risk behaviors such as self-harming, drugs, or alcohol consumption, you should consult a professional counselor for help.
Other signs of a troubled teenager can be:
- Sudden changes in appearance
- Increased engagement in negative behaviors
- Increase in rebellious behavior
- Extreme mood swings
- Experimenting with drugs or alcohol
Sometimes these signs can also point towards teenage depression. Teen depression should be taken seriously and if your teen is displaying signs of depression, please immediately contact a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis.
“Drama, lies, tears…teenage years.” – Unknown
Teenagers, angst, and anger go hand-in-hand but as a parent or guardian, it is up to you to tell them that no matter what they’re experiencing, with the right support and love, things can and will get better.
There are resources where you can get support and help for your teen. Remember that asking for help means you care for your child’s wellbeing. It is not a sign of bad parenting. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your teen.
As I’ve mentioned before, dealing with teenage anger can be intense and draining but with the right resources and information, you can learn how to deal with an angry teenager. For support and guidance, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on social media for more!
Lots of love to you!