5 Ways To Help Your Teen Deal With Anger

Teenage is a tumultuous time and many teens have a lot of anger issues during that time. When your teenager is yelling at you, it can be quite tempting to yell back at them. But you HAVE to resist the urge to do that. You cannot raise your voice and overpower a teenager. It solves nothing and just becomes a really ugly fight which would result in slammed doors or broken things or worse, feelings that are irreparably hurt because of words that should not have been said . Here are a few things you can do to help your teen deal with their anger.

1. Make them Aware

At a time when your child is not angry- after the heat wave has passed talk to them (without lecturing, which is soooooo hard!) about the difference between feeling and reacting. Everybody has feelings, however how you react to those feelings is a choice we need to exercise. Explain to your teenager to be aware of feelings of anger that surface in them so that they can be better prepared to deal with them. Help them label their feelings and identify what is it that is triggering the anger. Talk them through it.

2. Designate a punching pillow

Give them a cushion or designate a pillow in your house and tell your teen that they can punch that one when they feel angry. Get some energy out. They can even scream into it. My son has a play boxing punching bag hanging in his room !

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3. Tell them to take a time out

Insist on them walking away from people when they are angry. Ask them to take a walk or go to a room and be in solitude for some time. Do NOT let them drive away on any vehicle when they are angry. But after 10 minutes or so, go to their room and see if you can help in any way- offer them a favourite drink or just hang in their room for some time just to see if they want to talk, or to even to just let them know that they are not alone.

4. Find their button

Some teens may find music calming them down- others may find writing their feelings down helps them (My daughter starts writing when she is very upset). A few others feel that engaging in an art, craft or working with their hands in some way calms them down. For some kids, especially boys, it can be a sport that helps in getting the anger and aggression down. Identify what is it that helps your teen and encourage them to engage in it if they find themselves frustrated. I have a friend whose daughter used to have uncontrollable fits of rage- She would immediately strap on her running shoes, insist her daughter does the same, and they both would go for a run. Pick up a racket, pick up a Frisbee- do something physical with your child that would get some excess energy out.

5. Model

Model how as an adult you deal with your anger. Show them how you do not swear (if you do, that’s another story all together LOL), slam doors or break things when you get mad. Show them how to deal with anger in an assertive manner and socially acceptable manner.

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“Catch them young” they say. If your Teen shows signs of ‘losing it’ often, it is a good idea to teach them tools to handle it when they are younger so that they will grow up into adults who can behave in a civilised manner.

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