For teens, an inability to manage negative emotions can lead to trouble. Problems at school may arise, issues in personal relationships might develop, and the resulting anxieties could impact a teen’s overall demeanor. Luckily, there are multiple techniques that can be used to bridge the gap between parents and children and help alleviate these difficulties. The following tips can aid teens struggling with anger management, and also help their parents support them in the short and long term.
Recognize the Triggers
Depending on the individual, there are certain stimuli that can cause extreme emotions to erupt without warning. These are referred to as triggers; when teens and their loved ones can identify what triggers anger or stress, then they can learn the proper actions to remove themselves from particular situations or understand how to cope. Frequently occurring triggers in teens can include feeling misunderstood, mounting responsibilities and expectations, raised voices, and being told “no.” Understanding the catalysts of negative behavior can help parents and their children work toward better options for managing subsequent reactions.
Identify the Source of Anger
Triggers aren’t always the source of a teen’s anger. In some cases, there are additional factors that contribute to intense emotions, such as problems at home or low self-esteem. When attempting to control aggressive behavior, parents should emphasize that angry feelings are normal—violence is not. Focusing on helping a teen become more self-aware may draw attention to underlying issues. A private discussion can be helpful for pointing them out. Ask the following identifiers: Who? What? When? Why? Make sure the answers are as specific as possible. Once the sources of anger are identified, encourage the teen to explore constructive alternatives for addressing his or her feelings.
Provide Time to Reflect
It can be beneficial for teens to set aside time to reflect on their triggers and sources of anger, as well as how they choose or have chosen to deal with them. In dissecting the scenario, teens can determine their level of satisfaction with their actions, predict what they should do in a similar situation the next time it occurs, and consider opportunities for personal growth based on what they learned. Ultimately, it is the continual practice of reflection that will begin to aid teens in the ongoing process of anger management.
At Cross The Bridge Counseling, we understand that regulating emotions can be tough. We offer counseling services for parents and families struggling with anger management. We also provide a range of therapy options for teens to aid with depression, anxiety, social skills, and other issues. Get in touch with us by calling (845) 342-5789 or contact us online today to discuss options for therapy at either of our Hudson Valley office locations.