Teen Anger Problemsby Erin Schreiner
Nearly everyone feels anger from time to time, but, for some teens, dealing with this natural anger presents a serious challenge. If your teen seems more likely than most to anger, there could be a developmental cause or an outside anger inducer at the root of this difficulty. By helping your teen in his war against anger, you may be able to allow him to overcome his anger-related difficulties.
Internal Causes of Teen Anger
The teenage years are full of physical and emotional changes, and some of these can lead to the development of anger. As PsychCentral reports, during teenage years, adolescents often struggle with determining who they are, dealing with separation issues and developing relationships. All of these struggles can lead to internal turmoil that can manifest itself in outward anger. Teenagers also have a tendency to bottle up their anger, often in an attempt to gain favor with others.
Outside Anger Causes
While all teens experience some anger, some teens suffer from even more anger as a result of outside experiences through which they have suffered. Teens who experience trauma, for example, are more prone to suffer from excessive anger than their peers, reports KidsHealth. If you and your spouse divorce around the time your child reaches teen years, he loses a family member or he is the victim of a traumatic crime, he may suffer more acutely from bouts of anger than other children his age.
How You Can Help
As a mom, you can do much to help your teen with her anger issues. The most important thing you can do for her is to listen. If your teen tries to tell you about her anger, listen closely and try not to judge her. Don't, for example, say, "That shouldn't make you mad," as, regardless of how minute the issue may seem to you, it is important to her. Also, be consistent in your discipline efforts. If your teen exhibits violence as a result of her anger, she must be punished consistently. If you also struggle with anger, try your best to be a good model for your teen, not allowing her to see you engage in angry outbursts, as these send her the wrong message about anger control.
If your teen seems to burst into a fit of anger without first considering the repercussions, teach him the five-step approach to dealing with his upset, recommends KidsHealth. This approach is a systematic method of dealing with upsets and controlling acts of anger. The first step: identifying the problem. After your teen has identified what is making him mad, he must think of ways to solve the problem before acting. Then he must consider the consequences of each potential course of action. Next, he must select and implement a solution. Finally, he must observe how effective his chosen solution was, allowing his observations of effectiveness to inform his future decision making. One of the most effective things about this approach is that it encourages the teen to think before he acts, instead of simply allowing himself to respond in anger without first considering his actions.
When to Get Help
Most teens can handle their anger without outside assistance, but in some cases help from others is necessary. If your teen's feelings of anger seem to last for several days, he appears to be moody nearly all the time, his fits of rage become violent or his anger begins to hurt his relationship with peers or family members, it is wise to seek professional help. By voicing your concerns about your teen's anger to his doctor, you can get a referral to a mental health practitioner who can help you tackle these problems with your teen and advise you of ways in which you can help him beat his anger.
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