Anger is a normal emotion that everyone feels from time to time.
This emotion lets you know when something is wrong, when others are crossing your boundaries, and when your values are not being respected.
However, people have different ways of expressing and coping with anger. Some choose to react immediately while others repress it.
Teenagers have different ways of dealing with anger. They can become angry for several reasons and express their feelings in various ways.
Many teens often get into trouble because they are unable to discharge their feelings appropriately due to intense anger. These can include screaming without reason, slamming doors repeatedly, and throwing their smartphones on the wall.
As a parent, having an angry teen on your hands can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. But when your child has anger management issues, getting upset and indecisive is the most unproductive and least helpful thing you can do.
Supporting Teens as They Learn About Anger Management
Below are five tips you can follow to help your children manage their anger better:
1. Be Open to Getting Professional Help.
Whether your teen is already becoming a handful or you want to help them learn to manage their anger as early as possible, consider the option of getting help from a therapist.
Getting your child therapy to control anger can help them learn strategies that will change their behaviors toward their triggers and express their emotions in a better, healthier way.
Some of the most effective therapies for anger for teens are:
This medication-free therapy uses rewards to condition their brain to have a positive reaction. Through repeated sessions, their brains will learn to regulate their own activity, allowing them to feel calm, focused, and in control.
They will also learn to continue with this same response in the future. As a result, your teen will be able to control their anger and know how to express them safely and properly.
● Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a psychotherapy technique that helps clients recognize what triggers their anger and determine how they usually respond to these triggers.
Under this therapy, the therapist will assist clients as they learn new, healthier ways to respond to their anger.
● Group Therapy
Group therapy is helpful for teens who have chronic anger issues that cause them to feel guilty and affect their self-esteem.
A therapist will facilitate each session and encourage the participants to speak about their feelings and experiences. The goal is to help clients voice their emotions and connect with others, enabling them to feel less lonely and learn about additional coping strategies.
Before choosing which type of therapy is best for your teen, talk with a therapist and ensure they undergo a thorough evaluation first.
2. Help Your Teen Analyze Their Anger.
If your teen has yet to start therapy or both of you have not decided to see a therapist yet, a good way to begin helping them is by teaching them to identify what causes their anger.
Instill in your child the habit of thinking about why they feel angry at a particular moment. Whenever they experience this emotion, ask them to take a deep breath and figure out what they are really feeling.
This is an important anger management step for teens to master since they may think that this is the primary emotion they are feeling, but it actually is not.
For instance, many people are often antsy and irritable when they are hungry. The longer they go without eating, the more ill-tempered they can become and the less successful they are in managing their anger.
Teaching your child how to determine the specific trigger that caused their anger will go a long way in helping them know what they can do to manage this emotion.
You can help your teen become more efficient in analyzing their anger by giving them a notebook where they can jot down the exact dates and times they feel angry. Ask them to add as many details as possible, such as where they are, the situation they are in, who they are with, etc.
This journal can help your teen come up with ways to deal with other situations that trigger their anger. If they always feel irritable after a quiz or test or when doing their homework, the best strategy for them to avoid this emotion is to always study well beforehand and learn new suitable skills.
3. Communicate With Your Teen.
During puberty, most children have difficulties talking with their parents due to various reasons. However, if your child has anger issues, not communicating with them at all is a huge mistake to make.
The key to communicating with your child is finding the right moment. Talking with your teen when they are in the middle of an outburst won’t get you anywhere.
The best time to talk with your teen is when they have calmed down after their outburst or while they are relaxing. Ask them what is bothering them and encourage them to speak or share.
However, do not push them too hard and avoid judging and correcting your child.
When you can’t think of anything helpful to share, simply listen to your teen without judgment and validate their feelings. Doing so will assure them that you are always there for them.
4. Encourage Your Teen to Have a Healthy Lifestyle.
Having an unhealthy lifestyle can cause anyone to feel more stressed out and prone to anger and irritability.
Help your teen manage their anger better by encouraging them to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Start by preparing balanced meals at home. Include more fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins to ensure your teens get the nourishment they need daily.
Ensure your teen exercises regularly as well. Your child doesn’t have to go to the gym daily; if they like cycling, swimming, or running, encourage them to do these activities frequently so that they can get a frequent workout.
Also, ensure your child gets sufficient sleep every day. Sleep deprivation can increase mood swings, irritability, and stress in teenagers, so help them get at least eight hours of sleep nightly.
Lastly, set regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and check-in schedules since routines can foster good behavior in teens.
5. Be a Good Example.
Lastly, regardless of the age of your teen, you can teach them healthy coping patterns and emotional regulation by being a good role model.
When your child is having an outburst, stay calm and rational and display the appropriate responses. By doing so, you are showing them that there is always a better way to deal with anger.
Keep in mind that no matter how many times you tell your teen how they should manage their anger, they won’t follow your advice if you are mishandling your own emotions.
As such, avoid letting anger get the best of you so that your teen can follow your example.
Patience and understanding are crucial for helping your teen learn how to manage their anger. Always be there for them and be a good role model and they will acquire the necessary skills to stay on top of their emotions at all times.