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Teaching teens to manage anger

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By Denise Morganthall

 

Anger is not always a bad thing. It provides us with the opportunity to express negative feelings, show others a problem exists and find solutions. However, if anger is not managed properly it can be detrimental, intensifying to the point of physical and verbal violence. If not controlled, it can lead to problems in all areas of life.

 

Teens today are faced with a myriad of emotional issues that can ignite anger. Add to that the stress of a changing relationship between teens and parents as the teens test their independence. Teenagers need to learn ways to express anger in productive, less harmful ways. Here are some starting points:

  • Know the warning signs -- pounding heart, muscle tension, clenched fists, shaking and a loud voice
  • Develop coping skills -- exercising, listening to music, drawing, deep breathing, talking to someone
  • Think before acting – curb impulsiveness, communicate respectfully without yelling
  • Walk away – take time to calm down and re-focus

Anger is a normal emotion that everyone can experience at times, but it is easy for it to get the best of us. Parents should model how they would like their teens to act, keeping in mind that they can’t yell at their sons and daughters to stop yelling. Providing teachable moments will allow teenagers to learn appropriate anger management skills before they are out in the world on their own.

 

And remember, if you encounter a problem you can't solve on your own, there is help. Log onto ParentCentral.Net or TeenCentral.Net to work it out and get advice from peers and trained professionals.


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