How To Handle Angry Teenagers?

Written and reviewed by
M.Phil - Clinical Psychology, M.Sc - Neuropsychology
Psychologist, Zirakpur  •  16years experience
How To Handle Angry Teenagers?

Like everyone else, teenagers are susceptible to anger. When this gets out of control, it can lead to problems at school as well as at home. One of the major reasons for this is that teenagers do not know how to channel their anger and control it. While teaching teenagers, what can be done to manage their anger? It is important to understand that each child is different and will respond to anger differently. Here are a few tips that could help.

  1. Recognize triggers and warning signs: Most anger outbursts are triggered by common factors. This could include feeling disrespected, feeling misunderstood, being refused permission or something or feeling as though too much were expected. It is important for teenagers to recognize these triggers so that they can deal with them in a better way. An anger outburst is also often preceded by certain physiological changes. For example, a person’s breath could quicken or they may begin to clench their muscles before getting angry. Recognizing these early signs can help teens control their anger and not allow the situation to escalate.
  2. Develop a vocabulary: Most teenagers throw tantrums and slam doors because they do not have words to express their anger and end up getting more and more frustrated with themselves and the situation. Hence, help your teenager develop a vocabulary to express what he or she may be feeling. This could include words like angry, mad, furious, irritated, tense, apprehensive, etc. Encourage them to talk out their anger instead of letting it simmer inside them. When your child does say things like “you’re making me angry” etc do not immediately discipline him but instead talk it out. They may also be encouraged to write out their anger or find other creative outlets for it.
  3. Deep breathing: Deep breathing is an anger management technique that helps adults and children alike. Teach your child how to take a few deep breaths before lashing out at someone. Show your child how to inhale slowly, hold the breath and exhale slowly while counting to five. This can help him or her calm down and handle the situation in a better way.
  4. 1+3+10: This is a golden rule of anger management. When your teen feels angry he or she needs to tell himself or herself to calm down. This is step 1. Next, they should take 3 deep breaths. This should be followed by counting to ten slowly. This can help them gain control of the situation and prevent an anger outburst.

The above mentioned tips can help in anger management of teen. However, if the condition seems out of control, you can always seek professional help to deal with the situation.

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