Teens who have trouble controlling their anger often feel like they are alone in their struggle. They may not want to discuss their struggles and worry nobody can relate. This is why it is important to talk to them about what’s going on and to encourage them to seek professional help when necessary. Dealing with anger issues in teens can be difficult, but there are ways to help them express their emotions in a healthy way.
Does My Teenager Have Anger Issues or is This Normal?
Teenage anger is not uncommon. But if your teen has frequent episodes of anger, they may have anger management issues. Angry teenagers tend to lose control easily and often lash out at people around them. They might also act aggressively toward family members or friends. Ask yourself the following questions when determining if your child has anger issues:
- Does your child ever hit their head against something hard?
- Has your child ever thrown anything (e.g., objects, books) at someone?
- Is there any reason why your child feels so angry all the time?
- Do other adults in your home seem upset by your child’s behavior?
- Are you worried that your child will hurt himself or herself?
- Does your child have a history of violent behavior?
Signs of Anger Issues in Teens
An angry teen exhibits behavior that differs from what we expect from our children. Signs of anger issues in teens include:
- Your teen gets angry frequently. They lose control and throw temper tantrums. Your child yells, throws things, and hits their head against walls.
- Your teen becomes aggressive. They threaten violence or act violently toward you or another person.
- Your teen lashes out at others. They insult people, make fun of others, and break rules.
- You notice that your teen seems depressed. They withdraw from social activities.
- Your teen uses alcohol or drugs. They drink alcohol or take illegal substances.
- Your teen shows poor judgment. They do dangerous things like drive recklessly or use weapons.
- They self-harm as a coping mechanism for their anger.
Getting your child to open up and share their feelings can be difficult, especially if your child doesn’t want to admit that they have anger management issues. However, talking openly about the problem can help your child gain insight into their own emotional struggles.
Ways to Manage Teen Anger
Anger management techniques include constructive activities such as writing down your thoughts and feelings, taking deep breaths, and meditating. These techniques can help teens calm down when they are feeling angry.
Additional ways teenagers can manage anger include:
- Exercise improves mood and decreases negative feelings. Listening to music and dancing are often helpful as well.
- Drawing, scribbling, doodling, or sketching thoughts or feelings can help.
- Meditation or deep breathing regularly can reduce anger.
- Distractions such as watching TV, reading, or seeing friends.
Causes of Teen Anger Issues
Teens’ emotions are often triggered by a combination of factors. They may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a teenager, which include balancing schoolwork, social life, family obligations, and sports. They may also experience physical changes like puberty and hormonal fluctuations. If they’ve experienced trauma, abuse, or have a mental health condition, they may struggle to develop healthy coping skills.
Additionally, environmental factors such as poverty, poor parenting, and lack of education can be contributing factors. Society’s emphasis on materialism and consumerism also causes stress and aggression among teens.
Types of Treatment for Angry Teens
An important part of treating teenage anger is having your child psychologically evaluated. This is to check for any mental health disorders or medical problems that might be sourcing or contributing to why your daughter or son is so angry. After receiving this assessment, you, your doctor, and your child will be able to decide on the best course of action.
Behavioral therapies are also integral in teaching healthy coping skills and emotional regulation. Parents can attend family therapy alongside their teen to learn how they can help in reducing their child’s anger and stress. If mental health conditions are present, medications like anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants might be necessary.
If your child is self-harming as a result of their anger management issues, then therapeutic programs are available to help. Neuroscience Institute offers a self-harm treatment program designed to address this destructive behavior specifically.
Find Mental Health Treatment in South Florida
It can be both frustrating and heartbreaking to watch your teenager be so angry. Thankfully, there are ways to improve their behaviors and get them on the right track. Neuroscience Institute offers evidence-based interventions that aid in reducing anger issues in teens. To get help today, call our South Florida campus or visit our admissions page today.