Anger in Troubled Teens and Young Adults
Everyone feels anger. Whether it stems from standing in a long line behind a senior citizen whose attempting to pay with expired war-bonds, or finding out you're highly underappreciated, sci-fi show is getting canceled - we all feel rage at one point or another.
Be that as it may, teenagers and young adults often struggle with handling their inner-rage more so than adults. In fact, there are millions of American young adults and adolescents, from all walks of life, who are incapable of controlling their anger, whatsoever. Needless to say, these young men and women require treatment for their lack of emotional control.
Teens and Young Adult Anger Management Issues | A Very Common, But Very Serious Issue
It’s Important to remember that young people who are incapable of dealing with their anger, actually suffer from a serious emotional disorder - one that if left unchecked, can result in devastating, life-altering consequences.
For parents of teens and young adults with anger management issues, It is not uncommon to feel hopeless and defeated. As dedicated as these moms and dads may be, they feel overwhelmed by constantly fearing for their child’s safety, as well as the safety of those around them. Even worse, these parents are terrifyingly stumped as to how to help their son or daughter overcome their debilitating, anger.
If you happen to be the loving parent of an angry, aggressive, or out-of-control young person, it is critical to respond to your child’s problematic behavior in a proactive manner. After all, ( like most of life’s most challenging of obstacles) there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to your child’s anger issues.
The Wrong Way To Handle Adolescent Anger
Unfortunately, parents of angry teens often respond with intimidation or punishment to put a stop to their child’s behavior. While this style of parenting may be useful in temporarily curbing a child’s outburst, it does not, in fact, teach the child how to actually identify the root cause of their anger - an invaluable skill which allows a person to overcome deep-rooted, underlying issues that can directly cause (or worsen) psychological problems.
Moreover, It’s crucial for parents of a clinically-angry, young person to abstain from overly punishing their son or daughter for having an emotional disorder, especially if their disorder is related to anger management issues. Essentially, by constantly punishing a child for their inability to handle difficult emotions, a parent is only re-affirming their child’s already damaged self-image and confidence - which will, of course, only exacerbate their anger issues.
… Helping a Child Overcome Anger Takes Love and Patience…
It is imperative for parents and authority figures to take the time to teach struggling young people healthy ways in which they can manage their anger. By teaching our nation’s young to proactively navigate situations that set them off, we can further prevent potential pain and suffering that often ensues after their rage-filled outburst.
Tips for Parents of Angry Teens and Young Adults
While raising an angry teen is daunting, it isn’t impossible. If you are the parent of an angry young person, don’t let your parental difficulties ahead overwhelm you. Instead of attempting to reach the summit in one giant leap, understand the journey of helping your child is one to be taken step-by-step.
The first step of your arduous, parental journey? Teach your child to identify his or her ‘anger triggers.’ Once they can isolate the words, behaviors, or situations that signal the beginnings of anger, they can begin taking the necessary steps to prevent outbursts and limit angry responses.
After identifying your child’s anger-triggers, one of the most valuable tools that you can teach your teenager or young adult child, is the five-second rule. Initially, this will undoubtedly be met with an incredulous look and an impatient rolling of the eyes. Be patient, and explain that, while the ‘take five seconds’ tool sounds like the dialogue of a corny after-school special, taking five seconds to breathe can prevent your child from ruining their life.
Worried About Your Child’s Future? Fear Not, We’re Here To Help!
Below is a simple list of steps to take with your son or daughter to begin learning how to work together to overcome anger and its negative consequences.
- Identify what words, behaviors, situations lead to anger.
- Teach five-second rule and consequential thinking.
- Discuss healthy ways to express anger.
- Ensure your responses are helpful and not intended to escalate these situations.
- If possible after and angry outburst, work backward through the problem.
- Lastly, remember emotion and behavior are different. You can validate their anger without condoning their behavior.
These simple steps are just a start, but they can help you and your child work through these difficult situations. By taking the time to teach teens how to process their emotions in a healthy manner, we help prevent a multitude of consequences. Even if they do not appreciate the attention now, it will help them more than they know.
Additional Writing Credits: Trevor Yoho