How to deal with teen anger?

Dr. Purushothaman
September 23, 2013

You were never under the illusion that teenage years of your children would go by in a smooth manner and were mentally prepared for it but when it hit you, the force of the impact took your breath away. You never expected it to be so bad and needed all your mental strength and self-belief to stay afloat. Most parents do have difference of opinion with their children even before the magical teen years but when these differences manifest themselves in ways you didn't expect, it is then you get hit the hardest.

You had always considered your teen an angel of peace but when you started getting reports of violent behaviour from school authorities and of bullying from parents of his classmates you thought they were exaggerating. But when your neighbour's child nose got punched you knew that you can no longer brush the issue under the carpet. It was time for you as a parent to look at the causes and the solutions of your teen's anger.

The easiest way to drive your teenager further away will be to react angrily, shout and abuse. Such a reaction would only further aggravate the situation. So what do you as a parent do now? Do you just wish that all this disappears on its own or do you lend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on for your teenager? Most teenagers are confused souls seeking a direction in life.

This is how you can be of help. If both of you have been arguing for hours without a solution in sight, you will need to walk away and address the problem when things have cooled down a bit and both of you can think and react in a rational way. You will need to stay calm even in the face of rude and aggressive behaviour and explain to your teen than such actions are very hurting. This one of the most effective ways to deal with teen anger as you can show them that, you are different from them and you do not react in the same way as them.

You will need to express your feelings and encourage your teen to do so, as the source of teen anger is often bottled emotions. You would also need to find the trigger to all this violent behaviour, as this could be the key to help you solve the mystery. Keep your questions neutral and focus on the problem. If you choose to attack your teen and not the problem you will lose in the first round itself.

Let the teen explain their side of the story and be patient in hearing it out without interrupting in between or passing sarcastic comments. Most of the time all they need is for someone to hear their story and not be judgmental. Some teens need to be encouraged to speak out and you will need to gently bring them out of their shell and give them enough confidence to express themselves.

Keep a straight face and don't try to put down your teen by your facial expression. Don't force them into doing something immediately about it. It is not going to be easy and you need to walk a few steps with them before they choose to walk with you.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems", various anger management tips have been provided to deal with teenage anger in an effective manner. The book also provides with 8 different models to prepare for better relationship with your teenager. Knowing all these techniques will be very crucial and would help you to navigate through this difficult phase with ease.


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