“The children now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect to their elders...” Does this sound like something you’ve said recently about an angry teenager or a quote from a parenting blog?
It’s actually the words of Socrates spoken nearly 2500 years ago. He’s speaking about youth and we can see that issues surrounding them have never changed. He talks about how youth are now tyrants and don’t serve their households. Socrates also mentions more about the lack of respect youth have and how they refuse to rise when their elders enter a room.
Angry teenagers seem to be as old as time itself and it’s a dynamic and compelling part of life. There is such a full range of emotions that go with being a teenager and it requires a lot of navigating. Teenager and anger go hand in hand and they experience a roller coaster of emotions. This article will look at how to deal with teenagers that are angry and how you can help them cope with emotions.
Dealing With Angry Teenagers
It’s common to forget what you were like as a teenager and it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. The first thing to remember is all the physical changes that are happening with them. Their bodies are changing by the day and it’s a lot to adjust to. With this comes drastic changes in hormonal levels. They are now feeling completely different on the inside and out and may not be sure what to even do about this.
To a teenager, they are dealing with a new person seemingly every day. The person they are looking at in the mirror is not the same one from just a few years ago. Recognizing that all these changes are taking place is the first step to helping get on an angry teenagers level.
People are now responding to them differently and it’s important to treat them as normally as possible. They will get bombarded with comments about how much they’ve changed and how different they seem. It’s important to make them feel at ease and comfortable to curtail anger they may be feeling.
Finding Their Way In The World
Part of what leads to anger in teenagers is not knowing where they fit in. They are trying to figure out who they are and what their identity is. They want to know what their place is in the world. You can help by nurturing and encouraging them in finding what makes them tick. Help your teenager identify passions and interests.
They are trying to identify their persona and this means supporting them no matter how unorthodox their interests may be. They may bounce from thing to thing, but it’s about giving them the confidence to not be afraid to fail. This will help in curbing some anger they experience.
Giving An Angry Teenager Their Space
Smothering a teenager who’s angry is a surefire way to exacerbate the situation. Teenagers will need periods where they need to step away and have their own space. Letting them have time to decompress and unwind will be a great way in helping keep anger at bay. It may feel like they are rejecting you by wanting some separation but it’s something to not take personally.
Your teenager is trying to be on their own and develop newfound independence. They’ve been told what to do their whole lives, and this is a time where they are trying to break free. When they are not allowed to develop this part of themselves, it can lead to a lot of backlash and anger. To help you both handle this, it means backing off and letting them have their own time.
Your job now is to still be that safe and secure home base. This will make them feel secure and protected, encourages them to grow, and makes it more likely for them to confide in you when needed. As they are testing out their new identity, there’s the real possibility they will fall flat on their face. Your job is to be there to help pick up the pieces. This will help lessen their anger and build more self-confidence in them.
Coping With Emotions
When your teenager is angry, emotions will be all over the place. To help them work through them, you want to make sure you keep lines of communication open. They need to know they can turn to you to help work through the wide range of emotions they are experiencing.
Angry feelings and emotions can make a teenager feel like shutting down, but this is where you want to encourage them to talk. You need to focus on how they feel. It’s important to use emotion-based questions to help them deal with theirs. Things you can ask include:
- How does that make you feel?
- Why do you feel that way?
- What makes you feel how you do right now?
- Tell me more about that
- How is this situation affecting you?
Remember, your teen might not understand why they are feeling how they do. Your job is to help them identify their emotions in order for them to work through them. Instead of lecturing or preaching to them, your job is to listen.
It’s important to recognize if your angry teenager is being this way because of natural changes or if there is something deeper going on. Identifying this will make it easier to deal with it. There may be problems at school, substance problems, or other cognitive issues. You will want to monitor this to see if there may be some different external causes of their anger.
This way you know if you need some professional help to address it. If that is not the case, and it’s regular teenage emotion, it’s all about being supportive, understanding, and allowing your teen to feel seen and heard. Encourage them to get up and moving and try to exercise together.
Exercise is a key way to help combat anger and minimize the impact of negative emotions. Keeping active will help boost natural feel-good hormones like endorphins. This will go a long way in helping your teenager and give you both something to bond over.
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