Parenting Insight on Treating Teen Anger
Doors are slamming and the family is yelling. Family arguments may be a part of living within the family unit, but they certainly aren't pleasant experiences, and the feelings of guilt that you are left with after an especially bad fight are terrible burdens for both the parents and children to bear, more so when the end result was one of the teenagers storming out the door. Now you have to face the worry of what they are doing out there, how hurt both of you are, and the sadness and feelings of rejection that come along with family arguments. Everyone involved thinks that you should have taken their side, and for a parent and a child, the guilt often looks like anger. We have to acknowledge the feelings before we can work on treating anger.
If there is a major anger issue within the family, getting outside help may be one of the first ways to begin to heal. If your family is blended, and there is a step parent in the house, older teenagers will often turn against them first, and hold the biological parent emotionally hostage, demanding that they turn against the step parent and side with them. This can tear the family apart.
Families fight about finances and how to parent, these are the two most prevalent causes of teenagers running away from home, divorce, and families splitting apart. One of the first actions you can take is to agree with the rest of the family that constant arguing doesn't solve anything, and wears a family down. The family must be able to agree to not bring up past conflicts during a new fight, and if you can not reach an agreement, family counseling is a necessary experience to teach the family how to talk to each other-more importantly, and this is usually the case-how to listen to each other. Through a family therapist, your family can learn how to ask leading questions which will open up communication. Not only relating to teen anger management, but the rest of the family as well.
Other ways of treating anger include taking a step back from the situation before speaking. Most arguments escalate because the family doesn't think before they speak. You can't take back hurtful words once they are out, no matter how much you apologize afterward, so take the time to formulate exactly what you want to say before you open your mouth. I realize that this is easier said than done at first-anger management takes practice. Again, this is where a professional can come in handy.
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