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How Do You Help a Teenager With Anger Issues?
Slammed doors and angry outbursts may just be run of the mill teenage behavior. The teen years are rife with strong moods and feelings as it is. Teens are in the process of changing from being a child who relies on their parents. The teen years help them prepare for being grown adults. This is a phase that features mood swings, and that includes sometimes acting out in anger. But when do these moods and anger issues become a real concern and require coping skills for teens?
When a teen begins to display more hostile, even violent acts towards others there may be bigger problems involved. The angry outbursts may be symptoms of a mental health issue. If a parent thinks this might be the case, a family doctor might be able to weigh in. Should the doctor think there is a mental health problem they will refer the teen to a therapist.
Learning new coping skills may help a teen that isn’t able to manage their anger. These skills can be taught through therapy sessions. These coping tools may be all that are needed to help the teen. These skills teach a teen with anger issues how to better respond to triggers. They will also learn how to curb their impulse to react in angry rants or outbursts. Also, anger coping skills help the teen to channel their feelings in a more mature manner.
What Are the Signs of Teen Anger?
The teen brain is still in the process of maturing. The brain is not fully formed until about age 25. This region of the brain that controls certain functions may not be matured in a teen. This can impact how they manage judgment, feelings, and self-control. Kids whose brains haven’t yet matured may lash out in anger when they feel the least bit slighted. This is because they are lacking any real coping skills. Some of the signs of this problem in the teen brain include:
- Getting into heated fights at school, or at home with siblings.
- Exhibits angry outbursts and rage.
- May bully others.
- Is difficult to reason with.
- Engages in dating violence.
- Makes verbal threats.
- May be cruel to animals or younger children.
- Excessive and loud fighting.
- Destroys property.
- Shows symptoms of depression, self-harming acts.
- Conducts physical violence towards others.
What Are Good Coping Skills For Teenagers?
Parents should set very clear rules in regards to showing anger at home. Parents need to clearly describe how the teen should act at school and beyond. Setting anger rules also means to enforce them. This way the teen is made aware that hostile acts are not welcome. Parents can equip them with some anger coping skills. These tools will provide the teen better options when they feel angry.
Here are 6 Anger Coping Skills For Teens:
- Teach teens how to resolve conflicts. The words we use have power. Words can become tools when feelings of anger arise based on how they are used. It helps to teach teens how to express their feelings about an issue that is upsetting them. This helps them talk calmly with the other person and resolve the conflict.
- Have them keep a journal. Suggest the teen use a journal. Writing feelings down on paper can help reduce the power of angry feelings. Keeping a journal is a tool for getting feelings out and freeing up the mind from thinking about problems.
- Have the teen be more active. Teens should get outdoors and be active. Working out through team sports, running, cycling, surfing, hiking, or board sports can help reduce stress. Being active also improves mood and helps the teen get better sleep.
- Teach problem-solving skills. Show the teen how to resolve a problem in a calm, controlled way. Have the teen come up with some possible solutions for a problem. They may need extra help with schoolwork or guidance for a social issue. Making a list of options to solve the problem makes them feel more in control.
- Teach teens how to relax. Teach the teen some techniques to help them calm themselves. These skills can be used when something sparks an angry response. These can be deep breathing, doing art, calming music, or taking a walk. Soon they will learn how to self-soothe when they feel anger building up.
- Model good behavior. Most of all, parents should model some ways to manage anger themselves. Teens will model what they learn from their parents. Be a good example for your teen by keeping your own temper under control. Avoid lashing out, hitting, or cursing, and give them a proper role model.
BNI Treatment Centers is a Leading Mental Health Program for Teens
BNI Treatment Centers is an L.A.-based mental health center that works with youth aged 12-17. Teen anger is a common concern among parents and teachers. Intense anger and angry outbursts can be a sign of mental illness and should be treated. Teens with anger issues will benefit from a more focused approach to treatment.
Anger coping skills for teens are taught through our CBT sessions. CBT helps guide the teen toward making better choices when they feel angry or upset. At BNI Treatment our program uses a blend of treatment models to focus on the whole child. For any questions about our program, please contact us today at (888) 522-1504.