Teenagers seem to always be angry. Here’s how you can help them. You are the force that can help your teen talk about their anger instead of acting it out. Even if your relationship isn’t the most perfect one with your teen, there are still ways you can help your teen cope with their anger.
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Anger can be a destructive force (when used to hurt others), but it can also be turned into something positive (like motivation and learning how to talk things through).
There are three keywords that can help you get through this with your teen:
1) Understand (the anger)
2) Manage (help them manage the anger)
3) Channel (help them turn it into something productive)
Knowing what to say to your teen when they are angry can be a difficult thing. Children like sympathy and if they think you are being sympathetic they may open up to you.
Be sure to ask questions like:
- You look angry. Is there something wrong?
- Whenever you talk that way, I know something is wrong. Would you like to talk about it?
Once you have started a conversation remember you want to understand the anger and how you’re teen feels about it. Be sure to ask questions like:
- I hate to see you upset like this. What’s wrong?
- Do you trust me enough to tell me what happened?
Now you need to help your teen manage their anger. If you can relate to other times when they successfully handled their anger and ways you personally cope with anger. Say things like:
- Here’s what I do when I’m angry.
- I don’t blame you for being angry. Now you need to decide what you can do so it won’t make things worse.
Once your teen understands the anger, teach them to use it for something positive. Be sure to say things like:
- What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
The success of this may not be immediate, but at least you and your teen will be talking about the anger. That’s a step in the right direction.