Anger Management in Teens

Understanding Particular Triggers of Anger
As teenagers grow and go through puberty, the several hormones that are released typically have significant impacts on their moods and the extent of their responses to things. Oftentimes, what may look like an overreaction to something is just them expressing their emotions to the best of their capability; Teenagers can have more trouble managing intense feelings in comparison to adults. Anger can stem from various factors, leading to a range of emotional responses that vary in intensity. A few common examples of these factors can include, conflicts with their peers, immense amounts of stress from external factors, significant changes in their life, the death of a loved one, underlying mental health conditions, and lastly, low self-esteem. It is crucial to note the fact that these ‘triggers’ can vary from person to person, understanding, recognizing, and discussing your teenager’s own personal triggers can aid in the process of taking action to express it in healthy ways.

Signs and Different Methods of Expression 
Understanding the different ways a teenager expresses their anger is essential for successful anger management. Typically, teenagers often outwardly display their anger through actions such as excessive or frequent arguing, physical aggression, emotional outbursts, irritability, or mood swings, though this is the more common way of expressing anger, some people may express it in more subtle ways including, isolating themselves, avoiding social interactions, negative thoughts about oneself, and aggressive attitudes towards their peers/family. As outlined earlier, all these reactions can be caused by significant hormonal changes, peer pressure and other external stressors. It is vital to be able to recognize these signs since teenagers may not always directly communicate their struggles, recognizing and discussing them aids in the creation of an environment in which open communication and support in order to develop healthy coping mechanisms are available which are both necessities. 

Anger Management Strategies
Parents and caregivers should shift their views of anger being a negative emotion to it being a natural part of human emotions. Rather than trying to suppress your teenager’s emotions, it is significantly more helpful to guide them to healthy methods of expressing their anger. A few commonly helpful anger management strategies can include

  • Using a journal to write down their frustrations.
  • Deep breathing exercises.
  • Understanding and rationalizing their own anger.
  • Physical exercise.
  • Personal hobbies.

It can take long periods of time to find out what the strategy that works best for them is and how they can apply it in their daily life, one of the most vital parts of the process of managing anger is patience.

The Importance of Supportive Parenting
Supportive parenting plays a critical role in the fostering of healthy anger management skills in teenagers. One of the most effective actions a parent/caregiver can do is modeling positive and healthy coping strategies, setting examples by displaying patience and self-control when met with feelings of frustration can help them understand what to do when encountering similar situations. Communication is also a big part of this, encouraging your teenager to openly discuss and express their emotions without the fear of being judged; though this trust is something that is often built up over a long period of time, it is essential. Utilizing the skills of active listening allows them to feel heard and understood, in turn helping with managing their anger. Providing an environment in which your teenager feels supported can help them develop healthy and effective anger management strategies, also benefiting their emotional well-being.

Understanding When to Seek Professional Help
Though feelings of anger are normal when it gets to a certain scale, such as their outbursts having a negative impact on other people and themselves, it may be helpful to seek help from a professional. A few more signs of when it seeking professional help can be helpful includes an excessive and consistent amount of violence/aggression or even sudden ‘bouts’ of anger. Unresolved anger issues not only can affect their own mental well-being but their physical well-being too. It is important to remind them that there is nothing wrong with needing a little more guidance for their anger issues since at times, people can view it as shameful.

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