When teens are experiencing anger, it’s more than likely due to the inability to express their feelings properly. There are many things that contribute to young people expressing anger, but it has been found that most experiencing these behaviors are dealing with something emotional and not knowing how to manage those emotions. If you notice this in your child, it’s critical that you try to understand and provide help as anger issues can lead to serious trouble for them down the line.
Know the signs
We all know, teenage years are some of the rougher years in your child’s life. There are so many things happening around them. Their bodies are changing, some may not know how to handle it or what to think of what’s happening to them. On top of that, they have the outside elements of peer pressure, acceptance, bullying, and self-esteem. Unfortunately, some teens begin acting out in anger because of substance abuse. If you suspect this is the case, here are some typical signs of drug abuse:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Staying out late or breaking curfew
- Erratic or irresponsible behavior
- Frequently asking for money
- Isolating themselves
- Secretive behaviors
- Ditching school
- Resisting discipline
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Hanging out with new friend crowd
Keep your composure
If you want to start to help your teen, begin by keeping your own composure. They can definitely press your buttons and upset you but this step is the first of many important ones. Keep in mind when you begin to scold or yell at them, it opens the door to an angry environment and can escalate things. If you feel yourself reaching your limit, take a break and walk away. Let them know that neither of you are in the right place to speak or make any progress and that you will return once you’ve both cooled down.
Once you and your child find common ground, begin to listen to them. Let them express themselves freely without judging them or making them feel invalidated. Reassure them that they are not alone, that what they are feeling is valid, and that you are there for them when they need you. Most of the time, simply listening and allowing them to talk through their emotions can lift some of the weight from their shoulders.
Typically, teens lash out because they cannot constructively deal with their emotions. Help them find some other ways to express themselves like writing in a journal, practicing breathing exercises, or listening to their favorite music! Something physical like walking or boxing to help ease their anger could be beneficial as well.
The process of adopting healthier behaviors starts at home, and you as a parent have an important role. There are many things you can do at home to continue helping them – simple things like spending time, creating a structure for them like cutting screen time, encouraging healthy habits like eating better or working out and imposing bedtime are all valuable.
During this time, it’s also important you take care of yourself. Helping an angry teen takes its toll on your own mental health, stress levels and may even affect other children in the house. Make time for yourself.
If you feel your child is struggling with anger and want to seek professional help, our therapist at Mountain Vista Psychology is certified and ready to help. When you work with a therapist, change can happen. If you are interested in a consult, give us a call at 720.583.9332 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!