Teenagers are often described as being filled with angst. While this might or might not accurately describe your teenager, your teen may have an issue with anger. What happens when keeping your sanity with angry teenagers doesn’t seem possible? Here are some tips to help you maintain your grip and keep lines of communication with your teen open.
Your teen is going through so much in their life. They want to be treated like an adult but haven’t quite reached that age yet. They may also have made some poor decisions which have caused you to withhold the respect they so desperately desire.
Do everything you can to make sure your teen knows you love them. You may not particularly care for their attitude or how they treat you or the other family members, but they need to know your love for them won’t change. However, even though you love them, they also need to understand that certain outbursts and attitudes aren’t acceptable.
No matter how angry your teen may be, or for whatever reason, it is important to choose the high road with them. It would be easy to get dragged down to their level and respond to anger with anger. This course of action never works. Instead you can choose to control your anger and talk with them in a calm manner. By modeling calm to your teen, they may actually begin to become less angry.
Help them realize that some anger is normal. However, remaining angry for no apparent reason or for long periods of time is not. Try to show your teen proper ways to deal with their frustrations rather than yelling, screaming or taking their anger out on someone. Tell them you understand their frustration with a younger sibling going into their room, but hitting their brother or sister isn’t appropriate.
When your teen has calmed down some, ask them how they could better react in a productive rather than angry way. Help them to see that anger is not the solution to their problem. In fact, staying angry may cause more problems than their initial complaint.
If you notice your own emotions beginning to flare when dealing with your teen, it might be a good idea for both of you to have a time out. Take some time to go to separate rooms to think about what has happened. When you’ve both calmed down you can begin talking again. Let them know exactly what they’ve done or said that wasn’t approved of. Then help them try to decide how to better handle a similar situation in the future.
If you do happen to let your teen’s anger rub off on you, forgive yourself. Emotions are a tricky business and they are easily transferred from one to another when tension and feelings are high. Apologize to your teen for your part in escalating the issue and tell them you hope you can both try to do better next time.
Ask other parents how they deal with their teens’ anger. They may have advice or suggestions which will work for your family. If all else fails, you can also seek professional help. Perhaps your teen’s anger is worse than you thought. A professional will be able to determine what the best course of action is to help them overcome their anger.
Your teen is trying to figure out where they fit in. They’re not quite adults and not quite children. Be sure to tell them you love them even when keeping your sanity with angry teenagers seems impossible.
If you want to learn how to keep your calm while parenting, plan to attend or pick up Leslie Petruk’s recorded parenting class, Gaining Your Child’s Cooperation While Building Their Confidence and Competence and Keeping your Calm.