To a teen, a small issue can seem monumental and lead to serious emotional distress. Some teens can deal with this distress internally and settle themselves down, while others are unable to handle these natural fits of anger. If your teen seems quick to anger, you can help him overcome this tendency. By learning about the ways in which teens can develop anger control and guiding your struggling child to these resources, you can reduce the likelihood that anger continues to get the best of your kid.
Teen anger can manifest itself in an assortment of ways. For some teens, anger appears in the form of a generally aggressive attitude towards others in their surroundings. Other teens are prone to act out with physical violence. Still others become argumentative with peers and authority figures. Some teens even internalize this anger and engage in self-injurious behavior, such as cutting, as a result of their inability to cope with their feelings of anger.
The Five-Step Approach
Teens who have difficulty dealing with their anger may find the five-step approach useful. This approach, recommended by KidsHealth, is a systematic process of dealing with anger. The first step of this approach is identifying the cause of anger. The second step is brainstorming solutions to the problem that is causing the arousal of anger. The third step is considering the consequences of each potential solution. The fourth step is selecting a solution. And the final step is monitoring progress, in which the teen observes whether his selected solution was effective. Because this approach is so systematic, it is generally a quite effective way to tackle the emotion of anger, as it takes the emotion itself out of the equation and looks at the problem as a whole.
Impact of Modeling
As Family Education reports, parents can help their children deal with anger effectively by modeling proper behavior management. As a parent, do your best to react calmly and productively to anger-inducing situations. As your child witnesses your level-headed responses, he will likely see that not everything that could cause anger necessarily will cause anger. As he works to emulate your response, he will become a master anger handler, just like you.
At School Help
Teens who struggle with anger in an educational setting may want to seek help at school. Nearly all schools employ counselors to help students cope with emotional difficulties and plan for the future. If your teen tells you that anger is becoming a problem for him, contact your child's school and speak to his counselor. This professional is likely well-versed in teen anger management principles and can assist your teen in tackling this emotional school disruption.
While most teens can deal with their anger on their own, some lack the ability to do so and require professional assistance. If your child's anger continues to escalate or he seems unable to calm himself down despite your best efforts to assist him, speak to his doctor and require a referral to a therapist. This mental health professional can likely assist you in identifying the causes of your child's anger and teach him how to deal with this emotion.