Orlando Teen Anger Management Counselor Group Expert on 5 Parenting Tips on How to Deal with Angry Teens
It is no secret that parenting gets more challenging during the teenage years. Many parents often are faced with confusion and a sense of loss when their children reach the teen age. Some parents even wondered what happened to that sweet child they once held in their arms. The good news is that you are not alone on this. The teenage years are a difficult time for both the child and the parents. It is a time where the teens are trying to figure themselves while dealing with all their biological and emotional changes. The most overwhelming emotion a teen has to deal with is anger. Most teenagers get in trouble due to their inability to properly express their anger. Anger in teens usually results from other emotions difficult to manage. Many times a teen feels a strong desire to act out on this anger in order to release these emotions. As parents, it is overwhelming to see your teenager engage in harmful behaviors. Parents, unknowingly, could be making the problem worse when trying to help their angry teen with the wrong approach. It is important to first understand teen anger. Even though teens act like adults, their brains are not completely developed like adults. As a matter of fact, the brain is not fully developed until the age of twenty-five. When faced with an angry teen, yelling back only escalates the problem. When parents join in these teen anger outbursts, they are giving the power to their angry teens. How can a parent defuse an angry teen? Here are 5 tips on parenting an angry teen:
- Embrace yourself and pick your battle: Take a deep breath and hang in there! Keep in mind that your teen is as scared as you are. Teens do want their parents’ help even though it does not seem like it. Learn how to pick your battles. Some issues can be dealt with better after everyone is calmed down. Learn to walk away and take deep breaths when needed. This will help you keep your anger in control. Remember yelling back will only make matters worse.
- Keep Calm and watch your tone: Let’s face it; it is very hard to not become angry with someone who is already angry. However, it takes two people to engage in a dispute. When talking to your angry teen try using a non-confrontational tone of voice. Validate them by saying, “I can see you are upset” or “I can see you are angry.” This way they will feel heard. Remember that most of the time their anger is not personal.
- Apologize if needed: Apologies do not mean you gave up your parental rights. Do not be afraid to apologize if you need to or apologize for how they feel if you did nothing wrong: “I’m sorry you are so upset and I can see why.” If you apologize for doing something wrong it shows the child that you can recognize when you were wrong and it is okay. There is nothing wrong to reciprocate respect and this models for them how to take responsibility. Remember most of us learned by what behavior we saw modeled.
- Time Out: Allow your teen to get some time out to calm down. Be aware how you recommend the time out to avoid the teen feeling like they are punished. Suggest them to take a moment to calm down and then you can discuss the situation with them. This will allow the teen to learn how to control their anger and it will give you some time to reflect on what to do next.
- Be Part of a Support System: Dealing with angry teens can be draining. You do not have to go through this alone. Having a support system allows you to have a safe place to get help and hear how others dealt with similar situations. A support system can be created with family members, friends or professionals. It is also beneficial for your teen to have a support system where they will not be judged and can be heard.
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Author Mayeling Angelastro, MA is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern providing help to families, couples, children and teenagers with offices in Orlando and East Orlando. She teaches a 6 Hour Teen Anger Management Group in Orlando Florida.