Teen Anger & Rage: How Parents Can Help Calm the “Savage Beast”

Does your teen get angry too often? Do you feel that he/she has become angrier and is behaving more aggressively than usual?

Unfortunately, anger is a common issue in adolescence, but it can be improved, experts explain, we just need to adopt the right approach.

Kim Abraham a social worker specializing in family, youth & children as well as grief and loss therapy, emphasizes that anger is normal when it happens occasionally, both in children and adults.

The Problem arises when we notice that someone exhibits frequent anger outbursts.

Anger varies in degree and can escalate during adolescence. In most cases, teenagers show anger and rage because of how they perceive something that’s occurred in their lives as well as the increase in self-awareness that happens during adolescence.

Due to a lack of experience and skills in coping with the many challenges in life that are especially accentuated in adolescence, your teen may be expressing a lot of rage because of personal fears and uncertainties.

Anger can be frightening and lead to a lot of side effects if not dealt with, including prejudice, gossip, sarcasm, addiction, verbal and physical violence, etc.

As parents, it’s vital to help our youngsters have a better understanding of their emotions, including anger, and to search for the root cause of it rather than allowing it to take over.

Seeing frequent anger in growing teens should be considered a call for help.

The Challenge involves changing our attitude towards our children’s anger and not taking it personally, so we can help them feel it less or express it in a less harmful way.

Parenting experts believe that listening to our teens and trying to step into their shoes will result in more growth in the long run rather than ceasing communication, relying on blame and accusations or just hoping it will all go away.

But, this is not always easy. How can concerned parents calm down a raging teen who is not willing to sit down and talk? How can parents keep a cool head when their teen is yelling, throwing things around the house, and slamming doors?

How can you stop answering to your child’s anger with anger?

Answers to these questions plus more will be offered in this article as we discuss some tips on how to deal with an angry teenager.


7 Ways to Deal With an Angry Teen

     1. Remember that anger is a secondary emotion

According to Kim Pratt, a psychotherapy coach with Masters Degree from the University of California, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Michigan University, every parent needs to know that anger is a secondary feeling, meaning, there’s usually an underlying reason for it.

When you search deeper for the root causes which trigger anger and rage in your teen, generally you can manage it more easily. As part of the human experience, anger comes in numerous shapes, levels, and situations.

Some of the major causes include criticism, not getting what they want, and a perception of unfair treatment. Anger can be mild, stronger and extreme in the form of rage and frustration.

Often your teen is showing anger because of sadness or fear due to worry, loss or disappointment.

Many people struggle with to deal with these emotions, especially those without coping skills like teens, who will try to hide their underlying emotions by shifting into angry mode.

This may delude them into feeling that they are in charge, rather than powerless.

So, instead of reacting to their anger with more anger and yelling or grounding them, it may be wiser to listen to what they are saying and understanding the underlying causes of their anger.

When they feel calmer and more communicative, approach them with kindness and understanding and explain that anger can be dealt with and that you can help them learn some coping methods.

In a calm manner, explain that there may be an underlying emotion that is making them angry and that it will feel good if they can bring it to the surface. By working on it together, the chances of resolving the issue beneath the anger are much higher.

     2. Acknowledge their requests

As you probably already know, teenage years are the period when the desire for freedom and individuality increases. This being said, you will hear a lot of different requests and ideas from your child like getting a tattoo or shaving their head.

Usually, parents say no to such requests right away and therefore arousing anger in their teen because they feel that you are the only one with power over their lives.

To prevent such angry outbursts, it’s a good idea to discuss their suggestion and approach them from a place of understanding.

For example, instead of yelling “Are you out of your mind?!” you can say something like “I get that you want to get a tattoo. But since it is permanent, let’s have a good chat about the pros and cons before we make a decision together. Can you tell me why you really want a tattoo?”

By responding in such a manner, you are helping your child feel that their wish is being respected and fully considered and that he/she also participates in the decision- making process.

Consequently, they will feel less anger and be more focused on finding a solution or making the right decision.

     3. Teach them about anger management