Being the parent of a teen with anger problems is no easy task. When their anger is unpredictable, it’s even tougher to know what to do. Out of control teen violence is no joke. It can be absolutely terrifying when your kid switches from happy to violent and starts to destroy the home.
Some teenagers use violence to get what they want. They know that if they act out and destroy things or threaten others, they will ultimately get their way. Even if they don’t get exactly what they want, they will at least make the others around them miserable.
Teens with ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and other behavioral disorders tend to use violence as a means to an end. If your teenager’s violent behavior causes a threat to you or your family’s safety, you need to step in quickly.
Addressing teen violence in the home
Eliminate the reward
If your teenager is using violence to manipulate others in your home, make it clear that violence will not get them what they want. It’s much easier to give in to what they want to try and keep the peace, but that doesn’t work in the long run. Once kids learn that a certain behavior works in their favor, they’re more likely to continue it.
The first step to addressing out of control teen violence is eliminating the reward. Make it clear to every family member that violence will not be tolerated. If your teen starts using manipulative violent behavior to try and get their way, let them know that they are solidifying a “no” answer to whatever it is that they want.
Your teenager needs to know that their actions have real consequences. When you tell your family that violence won’t be tolerated, specific the consequences for using violent behavior. Some consequences could be a punishment, and others could be a restorative action to repair the harm that they’ve done.
Some example consequences include:
Taking their cell phone for a day
Not being allowed to go to an event that they were looking forward to
Not being allowed to use the car
Spending their Saturday repairing the hole that they punched in the wall
Using their own money to replace a household item that they destroyed
Getting a job to make money to pay for things that they have broken
Try to Understand the Triggers
Some out-of-control teen violence occurs when kids don’t know how to manage their emotions. Some teens do specifically use violence as a means of manipulation. Others don’t mean to get as angry as they do, but they lose control. If your teen is genuinely apologetic after they lose their temper or cause harm, they might not be doing it on purpose.
In this situation, focus on helping your teen identify what triggers their aggression. Why do they get so angry so quickly? Once you and your teenger understand their triggers, you can take steps to proactively address them. Identifying the precursors to a violent episode can help stop the episode from ever occurring.
Get therapeutic intervention
Teens who go from happy to violent can be extremely difficult to parent. Their behavior can be unpredictable and dangerous. Even if they don’t mean to cause destruction, they still wreak havoc in the home. If your teen’s violent behavior is becoming more than you can handle, get outside help.
Violent teen behavior that genuinely puts others in danger can warrant a call to the police. No one should be abused in the home, even if the abuse comes from a child or sibling. However, getting the police involved has legal consequences that you and your teen would face in the future.
Some violent teenagers need intervention beyond what they can get at home, but they won’t get that intervention in jail. Jail will remove them from home, but it won’t do them any good in the future.
Many teens who struggle with anger issues find success through a therapeutic boarding school. While away at school, violent teenagers get the treatment that they need, and their family stays safe throughout the process.
Contact us today to find out how our treatment center for troubled boys can help your family recover from violent teen behavior.