Deal with Teenager Anger: You are having a family discussion on an upcoming celebration. You are all planning on a place to go for a vacation. Each one in family have a certain input. Your teen also puts forward their ideas.
Acknowledge the idea but your whole family is not very kicked about it. So as family you continue discussing and suddenly, your teen gets up from his chair and runs up to his room.
You wonder what just happened because as a family you still have not finalised on your vacation plans. And in between the conversation your teen takes offence and becomes angry and vanishes.
Almost all parents of teems would have at some Face with such situation, anger outburst from their teen.
This anger does not mean for parenting. Take a note that most of us are in the same boat or have travelled the same boat.
If you go and ask your parents there are more chances that they would tell that you have behaved the same way during your teenage years.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS BLOG
- Why Teenager Becomes Mad or Angry?
- When should you be worried?
- 8 Tactics I use when caught in an anger outburst
- 11 Steps to follow when tempers are cooled off…
- 9 Ways to prevent teenager anger
- Be a Sensible Parent: A Note to Parents
As a parent we tend to deal with the tantrums of our children. Most of that problematic behavior can happen anytime and in any places!
At one point of time, your son or daughter can be okay. You are having perfect conversation with them, but suddenly, they become angry because of argument or idea that you have brought up.
They throw up their mood and become mad at you because teenagers are very sensitive. They can be hurt and be offended even in the slightest simple things.
They can be angry over a “simple task” that they need to finish before hanging out with their friends.
Sometimes they can be out of control if you do not let them go in their friends’ house.
Teenagers are very emotional because they want freedom. They can be very mad at you especially when they feel that their freedom is being suppressed.
If teenagers do not get what they wanted it will result in some sorts of drama which can lead to some serious problem.
So as a parent, it is important to know how to deal with teenager anger. When your son or daughter is getting mad at you.
But how can you deal with teenager anger? How can you make your son or daughter listen to you?
What are the things that you can do as a parent, to avoid some serious conflict with your son or daughter?
In this Blog, I will elaborate ways and techniques on how you can effectively deal with teenager anger.
Why Teenager Becomes Mad or Angry?
You can deal with teenager anger when you know the factors that contribute to teenager anger. Or why they get angry.
Scientifically speaking, teenagers thirteen years old and up were in the stage called the puberty stage.
In this stage teenagers are experiencing some changes in their body like changes in voices, Adams apple starting to show and many more in boys and girls start to develop breast.
They are also experiencing some changes in their hormones or hormonal imbalance which is one of the reasons of their change in behaviour.
Need for Independence
Need for independence is part of growing up. The concept of freedom. During this time, your son or daughter is trying his/her best to showcase what they are capable of.
They want to be in control on some parts of their life. They hate to be dictated and scolded by their parents.
I have noticed my son get angry when conversations are in the lines of “you are a teenager and you do not know about it”. When we talk to him as if he is child, but he expects us to treat him as an adult.
If you tried so much to control the freedom and decision of your son or daughter then, that may resort to bouts of anger.
If they are almost constantly ignored or overruled. They may start to feel hopeless and depression can set in.
Read more about how to spot and deal with depression in teenagers in my article How-to find out if your teenager is battling depression?,
Development of Impulses control and emotional regulation
During adolescence impulse control and emotional regulation are still in developmental stages. This is also the reason why your teenager gets angry or has mood swings during this phase.
This also is the culprit for the risk-taking behaviour your teen can exhibit at some stage.
We as parents need to understand this stage of development. Have patience just the way we had patience when are now teenager was a baby and tried to take first steps of walking.
You might be interested in reading about aggression and violence and risk-taking behaviour.
Traumatizing life events
When your teen experiences traumatic life events. That adds to stress for the teen. This can get manifested as anger and irritation towards their loved ones. And this anger and irritation are just the way your teenager is trying to go out their frustration and stress labels on people they love.
Traumatic life events can be anything right from a failed relationship, or social pressures, bullying. It can also be issues in the family. Issues like separation divorce or death in the family.
Other Medical Conditions
If your teen is suffering from other mental and physical conditions. Conditions like anxiety depression ODD, ADHD etc.
Not of these conditions manifest itself with change in your teenager and irritation and anger is one of the common signs.
You will need proper medical guidance to over come these issues.
You can also browse through our huge list of teenage topics from this link -> Parental challenges while raising teenagers.
When should you be worried?
It is normal for any human being to get angry or loose cool occasionally. And teenagers due to developmental factors can have a bit more of anger outburst or irritation.
However below are some indication of when you should be worried… Know that it is not normal teen behaviour and you will need to seek help…
- If there is any sort of physical aggression or violence.
- Endangering self or others or threats to do so.
- Very frequent outburst of anger. Or excessive arguing.
- Being cruel to pets and animals.
- Playing violent video games and possess weapons at hand and mimicking game situation.
- Fantasizing or supporting or inducing acts of violence in others.
- Engaging in bullying others including siblings.
- Getting into frequent fights or damaging property or displaying delinquent behaviour.
If you find any of these behaviours. You would do good to seek help to address the issue with your teen.
You might be interested to read our topics Drugs, Depression, Suicide
8 Tactics I use when caught in an anger outburst)
I have listed below few things that I have followed and following as I go about raising my teenage sons. And when I deal with Teenager Anger.
Remember that teenagers are experiencing a lot of changes in their life. They may be stressed in the school or in their friends so, try to be calm when he/she is angry.
Always be calm when your teenager becomes angry so that you can resolve the conflict as a parent later. When they cool off.
Watch Your Response/ Reaction
Do not forget to take deep breath when dealing with your angry son or daughter. I tend to excuse myself from the situation. Go to another room or just go for a long walk.
There is no good that comes out of standing and arguing and fighting with your teen when they are full on blazing their teeth at you.
Distract or divert from the topic
During some of these situations where I get caught. Especially when my children are both angry and clingy at the same time.
For my own sanity I use this technique of distracting or diverting from the topic.
The trick that I use is to immediately check my phone and show them something that catches my attention (Like a WhatsApp message or a Facebook update).
Or change the topic by talking about some news I have heard and suddenly recalled etc.
One of the tricks that always works like a charm for my second son is when I suddenly praise him or give a pep talk.
While during an outburst of anger I suddenly compliment him on how good his shirt looks and how it suits the pant that he has chosen. Immediately turns attention to his clothes.
And Voila! the topic is changed.
Pick your battles
At times it is also sensible to realise when to fight or insist and when to withdraw. Watch out for your teenager actions such as their facial expression and tone of voice.
Their gesture can help you avoid hostile situation. Make sure to noticed changes in their non-verbal communication.
Highlight but ignore bad behaviour
When your teen is displaying bad behaviour. Just highlight it and state in no more than 1 sentence. That what they are displaying is bad behaviour and it is not acceptable. But you will ignore or not dwell in it now.
The word “ignore” is used to emphasise the point that you will not dwell in it and pick and keep pointing it. Ignore is not accepting or not being bothered. Ignore here means Just let it pass for now. Do not focus and make it grow.
Give Counter Positive comment if they make negative one
This technique works for my elder son. Sometimes during an angry episode, he tends to start making statements like “he’s bad”. “He’s not capable” “He can’t do, he is stupid”. Or “he’s like this only”.
When I hear such statements, I immediately counter it with positive comments like “I don’t think you are bad you just angry now”. “I think you’re more than capable, so I don’t accept what you say”, “you are a good boy. just that now you’re behaving a bit difficult”.
These kind of counters from me would make him stop on his tracks and think a bit. Most of the time he gives up on his arguments and goes off.
A related read are the blogs Self-confidence, self-esteem, and positive thinking.
Ignore passive-aggressive behaviour
Sometimes you would find that your teen shows anger through passive aggressive behaviour. For example, if you ask them to clear the table.
They might land up doing it. But you would hear the utensils clashing and banging in the kitchen sink.
Stay calm and ignore the sounds that they make to show that they are angry with you.
Thank them after they finished doing the work. Does it with a smile?
Give them a way out
At times you will find them holding the ground just because they want to hold the ground. Sometimes the anger is because they do not know how to back off or they do not have a way out. Without losing the face or the argument in front of you.
Understand this and know the cues. And you take the High Road. Give them a way out so they are lovingly let off the hook.
My elder son and my daughter fall for this. I just move forward and give them a hug and a pat on their head and say, “love you”. Both huff and puff but soon move on.
11 Steps to follow when tempers are cooled off…
Step 1: Prepare to have a talk with your teen
Introspect on the angry episode. See what triggered it. Think of the words or frustration they showed. Get clues from it. E.g. Once my son passed a statement saying, “No One Understands”. For me this was a clue. The word “No one” was not just me.
It was also someone else wo was not understanding my teen and he was frustrated with it.
So, to have an effective conversation. Take some time and introspect and take cues and prepare for the talk. In the case about I started my conversation stating, “Why do you feel NO ONE understands?” …. “Who all do you feel don’t understand you? “What do you think we don’t understand?”.
Read our article point across to get more insights.
Step 2: Fix a time and be present
Get time from your teen to talk about the episode. Be present in the conversation. Listen and listen.
Do not interrupt if they are talking. Else ask leading questions to get the conversations going. You switch off the mobile phone and do not get distracted.
Step 3: Put Some Humor
Try using humor to have a positive set of mood especially when you are going to bring up some serious matters. This will prevent tension levels to arise and can keep your social interaction to be successful.
Use humour to lighten the mood up. You can bring up more serious matters as you progress into the conversation.
One of the things that gets my second son cracking is when I imitate him in a funny and cute way. But the same trick on my old one will get him much more furious then what he initially was.
So, find that sweet spot for your child. And play the card when things are a betting a bit too heated up.
Step 4: Acknowledge and empathise
Acknowledge that they are going through a difficult phase. Empathise with their struggles, difficulties, or challenges.
Tell them you understand since you have been though similar stages. All this talk will comfort to teen and help them open to you.
Step 5: Find the root cause
Most of the time I have found that root cause of any issue lies elsewhere but it manifests as an anger outburst.
Example: Your teen will be having problems with their best friend. But when you ask your teen to take out the trash. Your teen might take their frustration on you.
In such case it is no point in talking and arguing about taking trash out when problem is in your teen’s relationship with their friend.
Step 6: Put Yourself in Your Son/Daughter Shoes
Put yourself in their shoes is an idiomatic expression that means “Put yourself in their situation”.
The best way to understand a situation is to be in the situation. Try your best to understand the source of anger of your teenager.
Look at their point of view. Look at it from their perspective. It will help you understand what they are mad about.
If, you can do this. I can guarantee you for sure, you will realize something, and this will shift your perspective in solving the problem.
Step 7: Be open to different point of view
Be open to communicate both your point of view and listen to your teenagers’ point of view.
Accept their point of view when you think that they are right. If you realise that the anger episode was triggered by you. E.g. Maybe you have said something that hurt their feelings.
It is wise to acknowledge your shortfalls in not understanding.
Step 8: Make them understand your perspective
Explain to your son or daughter the situation. Explain it in a way that they can understand your point of view.
For example, you prevented your daughter to go for an all-night party. Explain to her the reason behind that decision tell her that “I’m worried about you” or “I’m afraid that something might happen to you”.
Make her understand that it is for her safety. I am sure that this will lessen down the tension.
Many of the times when you can talk to your child with examples from your own past. Your child becomes more receptive to understand and accept it. And, “NO” it does not put you in a poor light in front of your child eyes.
Step 9: Help your teen to find solutions
Brainstorm with your teen. Help your teen to come out with list of possible solutions. Let them take the lead in this conversation. You can add on or guide them as you go along.
Do not problem solve for them or give them ready made solutions. They need to come up with the solution so that they can accept an own the resolution.
Your role is only to be there, support and help them problem solve. Not take it up on yourself and impose your solutions.
Step 10: Support Them
Some problems call for solution where you are involved. This will need both of you to adjust get to a common ground.
Some might need you to help by intervening if they request. Like talking to school authority if your kid is going through bullying.
Some might require your moral support only while your teen is working their way out of it. E.g. Moving from a toxic relationship. Or preparing for an interview etc.
Whatever is your part in the solution. Play it and support them to overcome.
Step 11: Teach them to manage anger
Teach your teen how to manage their anger. Work with them to find out what are the things that they can do that relaxes them.
It can be anything from going for a walk to cool it off to listening to music or doing some exercise to sweat things off.
Tell them that it is OK to be angry, but it cannot be a problem to others. At the same time bottling up anger is also no good for them.
Encourage them to retreat into their den when they feel anger. But assure them you are always available to talk about it so they can express their feelings.
Give them the example of the latest anger episode that you are now having conversation about and give them suggestions on how better they can handle it.
9 Ways to prevent teenager anger
The best way to deal with teenager anger is to avoid it from happening.
Spend Time to talk with them
Spend some quality time with your daughter or son. Set some time for you to communicate with them, it can be informal time like in dinner.
Make sure that there is at least some time each day that you can communicate or engage with them. You can watch some shows together or play some video games.
Explore all the things you can do together. This will give you opportunities to have time and talk to them. And not only when they have an angry episode, they get to talk to you.
In any relationship communication is very essential.
Read about ways to establish connection with your teenager from our articles…
Father and son
Keep track of happening in your teen’s life
Keep an overall tab on your teen’s life. A lot of times teens mimic the attitudes of their friends. So, watch out for toxic friendship in your teen’s life.
Also, when you have your tabs on your teen’s life you will be able to spot issues and challenges, they are facing such as bullying, or upcoming exams or relationship issues. etc…
It will be of good read to know on the following topics…
- Choose friends
- Toxic friends
- Peer pressure
Establish Set of Rules
As a parent, it is important to establish rules inside your home.
You must have authority over your family so that everything inside your home will be organized and not in chaos.
It is important to be transparent and consistent and to let your teenager child know the rules.
Let them know the things that they should not be doing. But of course, explain to them why it is prohibited. This will make the rules more meaningful to your teenager.
Our articles given below can help you with this. It will guide you on how to discipline your teenager. And, if they break rules ow to effectively design their punishment.
- Break rules
Reward and appreciate
Appreciate or give your teen rewards when you find them exhibiting behavior that is acceptable. You need not wait for an occasion or an event.
These appreciations and reports when you do it diligently sends the message to your teen loud and clear on behaviors that are acceptable to the house.
It is a positive reinforcement technique and soon you will find your teen following it.
Give Yourself Time to think
If your son or daughter is upset and the tension is too high, then maybe; take some time before dealing with it.
Take time to think and understand the situation. Introspect and discuss with your spouse or others. Explore more options, seek to gain more knowledge, and read more.
All this will make you better equipped to handle the tension and the situation and to come up with a sensible solution. Beneficial for all. You can also ease your teen into your insights slowly. There by avoiding a possible outburst.
Model good anger management skills
Kids watch you. They see how you deal wit anger. There is little you can do to help your teen deal with anger if you keep shouting always. So, model the behaviour you like your teen to exhibit.
There can be many reasons why a teenager can get angry. And when you feel that things are going out of control. Or you are not able to handle it. Or you are worried or suspect that your teen might be having other mental issues.
It is OK to reach out for help. You can reach out to extended family members who you trust or your teen’s school counsellors or your doctor.
Be consistent and do not give up
Be consistent in your approach. Keep reaching out to them. Be ready for rejection. Do not change your stands or your house rules of in.
It can get frustrating when your teenager shuts you out when you try to reach to them. The only thing I can advise it is not to give up. You will catch a break. Your teen will open to you and when they do make the most of it.
Show your love and caring.
Love them unconditionally. Do not withhold or withdraw love. Do not use love to negotiate with them. Love them no matter what the situation is.
In my experience I can say this for sure. The times you feel like kicking them where it hurts because of their attitude or big mount. Are the same times when you should hug them instead. It makes a world of difference both to them and to you.
The best things you as a parent can do for your teen is to shower them with love, have faith in them and give them hope.
A related article you can read is hope.
Be a Sensible Parent: A Note to Parents
Sometimes being a sensible parent means to put forward your point of view and then leave it to your teen to decide on how to proceed.
In that way even if your teenager makes a mistake of judgment, they will learn from it.
It is one of our primary duty to help children learn the skill of facing challenges. If you are interested to know more on how to
teach your children to effectively face challenges you can read our article face challenge.
With failures they learn valuable lessons that help them grow and mature.
When kids fail refrain from doing the following…
1. Do not criticise or make fun.
2. Do not be judgemental.
3. Do not take a “I told you so” attitude.
4. Do not rub it in on your teenager
5. Do not cry or whine or make a fuss.
6. Do not bring about past misstates and lay it on them.
7. Do not brand them as “useless”, “not fit” etc…
8. Do not shame them or put them down in front of others.
As parents, it is important to know how we can deal with the anger of our son and daughter.
The outline given above are what I have experimented and done that can help you deal with teenager anger.
In Conclusion, try to understand the reason behind their anger. It can be any reason like stress, school problem, and relationship problem or due to hormonal changes.
You can do a lot of intervention to deal with teenager anger. Remember to keep calm and understand the situation. Try to be sensible parents so you will get in touch with their emotion.
Make sure to establish rules so that, they know what are the things that they can and cannot do.
You can prevent it happening in the first place by spending time with them. Understand their perspective by putting yourself into their shoe and lastly try to lighten up the mood by using humor.
All this practical tips and tricks has helped and is helping me tide over the difficult teenage phase of my children. Keeping my sanity intact. And with little stress to the members of the family. Hope it is of help to you too…
I like to make a disclaimer here. I am not a medical practitioner and more about me, my qualification and experience or that of my team you can read in About us page.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Am a concerned parent.
I like to share my knowledge with the hope that it will be help to someone somewhere and make a difference to a very worried parent.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. Also, I have implemented it in my life with my kids.
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