Arguments and disagreements can sometimes feel like an essential part of family life, especially during the teenage years, with slammed doors being a common occurrence or even holes being punched in walls.
Dealing and coping with teen aggression behavior can be challenging for parents. In some families this goes much further, and parents find themselves subject to verbal or even physical aggression.
While it is tempting to put this down as just a phase, nobody should have to put up with this kind of treatment.
-Quick to anger or lose their temper?
-Do they rage or become explosive?
-Do they have outbursts for no reason?
-Is your teen moody and judgmental?
-Does your teen anxious or sad?
Anger is an emotion that is quite often challenging for teens and at times can be overwhelming. A teen who does not know how to cope with angry feelings may feel a strong desire to act directly on these feelings, even when it puts them or others at risk.
Dealing with Teen Anger and Teen Aggression
1. Stay calm, until after the storm. Do not take it personally. As difficult as this is, it is likely your teenager’s anger is not directed at you, but they are venting their frustration since they believe they are not being heard. Many times, their anger has little to do with their parents, it could be something with a friend or even their online life. It is important not to let their anger become your anger as strong feelings can be infectious.
2. It is time to listen carefully. While listening to your teen’s anger, try to understand what is really going on beneath what they are saying and feeling. While you may hear, ‘I hate you! Leave me alone!” try rephrasing it to ‘I’m really hurting and trying to manage it on my own. I feel like you don’t trust me!” Just the act of listening to them can help lower the emotional temperature and bring the room back into balance.
3. Learning coping skills for anger management. Teach your teenager adaptive coping skills. Learning stress coping strategies, such as meditation, deep breathing and reappraising the situation, is a great way to handle and prevent angry feelings. A daily exercise regime is often recommended, such as walking, jogging or even yoga or Pilates. Learning ways to manage their anger and stress will benefit them throughout their entire life.
If your teen continues to have problems with aggression or outbursts of anger, it may be time to seek professional help. Locating a therapist that specializes with adolescents is your first step.
Read: How Behavior Therapy Helps Teens With Anger.
Read: 5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools.
If you have exhausted your local resources and your teenager is still struggling with anger, rage and destructive behavior — contact us to learn how residential treatment may benefit your family.