Coping With Angry Teens

Rakesh Upadhyay

Principal, Himalaya International School, Ratlam

This article discusses a widespread problem of the state of anger in adolescents and the strategies to help teenagers deal with it.

Anger is an involuntary impulse though sometimes it is an irrational emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. Teenage outrage is expressed in several ways. It reflects in the forms of indignation, resentment, and fury. We identify teenage anger in the expression of their changed behaviour. Some teens may repress their anger and withdraw themselves; others may be extraordinarily defiant and destroy property. The problem of expression of anger in such teens will continue until they decide to look within themselves for the roots of their anger. Teenage anger is a feeling, an emotion, not a behaviour. Moreover, it is usually caused because they are probably going through a rough patch.

Teenage anger can be frightening, but it is not inherently harmful. Its negative expressions can comprise physical and verbal violence, prejudice, malicious gossip, antisocial behaviour, sarcasm, addictions to narcotics, withdrawal and psychosomatic disorders. These negative expressions can destroy relationships, harm others, disrupt work, affect physical health and consequently ruin their future.

Parents’ role in helping teens cope with anger

It is a big challenge to keep explosive teens safe while they are discovering methods to recognise angry and deal with it more constructively. Hence, parents play a very vital role to help a furious adolescent learn ways to cope with anger successfully.

Encourage and involve teens in physical activities as most of the teens have a powerful impulse to be violent when they are enraged. Parents can promote teens to participate in sports and other exercises regularly, which will help them control their aggression. Teens require safe ways to release their anger. Hitting a punching bag can work well.

When teens are infuriated, they may like to stay alone to calm down. Sometimes, they cry and scream. It is fine to give them some space. However, letting them stay alone should be done under proper supervision. Music, as a therapy, also works well with most teens. It is useful in helping teens to identify and express their rage through singing or dancing to the songs filled with loud beats.

Help them identify the causes of anger. The better a child understands the source of angry outbursts, the more control they will have in expressing their emotions. Teachingthem creative display on their expression of anger. Teens can use both writing and drawing effectively to communicate and understand their anger.

Set up anger rules for your house since every family has different expectations about how anger should be handled. Some families have very little tolerance for yelling while in other families, yelling is a normal means of communicating. Teach teens what is acceptable behaviour and what is unacceptable behaviour. Also, tell them the consequences of breaking the rules. It will help them control their vexation.

Teach assertiveness skills. Sometimes aggressive behaviour and anger originate from a lack of assertiveness. Teach children how to speak up for themselves in an appropriate manner. This will develop a sense of self-confidence in them and help them avoid unnecessary anger.

Despite using all the above remedies if your teen child is not able to handle their anger, then you should get professional help. Expert therapies help children express their anger and instil anger management skills. Remember that uncontrolled rage is sometimes connected with mental health disorders in teenagers, so we should not hesitate to seek professional help for teens if their anger is a persistent problem.

Rakesh Upadhyay

Principal, Himalaya International School, Ratlam