Anthony started having anger problems in middle school, but it wasn’t of much intensity. However, entering high school things began to take a turn. The slightest prick would puncture his self-esteem. The anger would build up, he’d frail around and lash out on everyone. Maybe unintentionally, but he didn’t realize the harm he was posing to himself, close friends and family. The throwing of objects, hitting things and the raised tone of voices started to take a toll. Loneliness creeped in along with more of his anger episodes. Seemed like Anthony’s bouts of aggressiveness and violence were becoming hard to take control over.

Well, the moodiness and random tantrums are pretty normal with the sudden upsurge of hormones during the onset of puberty. It happens with the teenager’s urge to become independent (with no restrictions). Anger issues as the term suggests tags along with a “certain issue” ascribed to the teenager’s surrounding environment. Starting from home, it could be due to peer pressure, abuse, poor familial situations, financial problems to issues at school such as fitting in with the popular kids, stress and drug abuse. But what we need to understand is behind the anger lies a hidden sadness.

As beautiful parenthood is, it is as challenging and requires a lot of patience.

Your teenager’s brain is wired differently. There is a lot going on in his/her brain (literally).  To understand the psychology, we need to understand how the body works during that phase. An active development of the brain specifically the frontal cortex which deals with emotions, decision making and reasoning continues till the age of mid twenties. There is a continuous reconstruction process going on along with the formation of new synapses at an exceptional rate.

So how do we approach the persistent anger issue?

  • Your manner of approach matters the most. Instead of taking the harsh lane, address his anger with an understanding tone. Let him know you acknowledge his problems without any judgments. No interrupting or criticizing.
  • Handle the situation with a sense of calm no matter how much your child provokes you. Make sure that your child knows that there is nothing wrong with being angry about something, it is a perfectly natural reaction, however unacceptable if he/she crosses a certain line. Be stern enough for your child to understand that foul language, violent behavior and name-calling will not be permitted.
  • Sometimes when things are a little heated up, parents get emotionally entwined. Feeling guilty or at fault may fuel the anger more. Most importantly, always remember to not allow excuses.
  • On an honest note, the worst thing you could possibly do is tolerate bad behavior. Teach your teen to keep their feelings separate from their behavior. It is essential to realize that anger issues must not be transferred to an abusive verbal state or aggressiveness.
  • Encourage him to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports, exercise, dancing or any favorite hobby to keep his mind occupied. It will act as a healthy way to relieve anger, stress and negative energy.
  • It is worth reminding your child that regardless of any situation he/she is going through, as long as you both are together, things will always get better.

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