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Why Can’t I Help My Teenage Son Control His Anger?


It can be intimidating and frustrating when your teen begins to display aggressive tendencies or is constantly angry. In cases where his anger is consistent, it usually means that there is something more at play than simple adolescent angst. Helping your teenage son learn to control his anger involves more than reminders and consequences. He needs to learn how to redirect his feelings into more positive results than those he gets from lashing out. Here are a few ways you can help your troubled teen learn to control his anger.

  1. Consistent Rules and Consequences – Teens need consistency in order to learn how to manage themselves effectively. Make sure your teen has a clear idea of what is and is not an acceptable way to behave and what the consequence is if he breaks the rules or puts anyone in danger. Let him know that you are ready and willing to help him learn to manage his feelings in a healthy way, but that aggressive or violent behavior will not be tolerated.

  2. Offer Immediate Solutions – Individuals with anger issues cannot make their extreme feelings dissipate, just because they know they should. It is far more effective to come up with a way to redirect their anger until they can communicate rationally. Help your teen identify what might work for him when he is feeling particularly irate. This can involve a time out period, where he is allowed 20 minutes or so to take a walk or a run or spend some time on his own in his room. Conversations and discussions can be resumed when emotions are calmer. Longer term solutions like sports, music or jogging are also effective coping methods that can also help reduce anger.

  3. Communicate – Many teens, particularly defiant ones, are less interested in communicating with their parents than they were when they were children. While it is tempting to want to give him more space, it is very important that you continue to give him opportunities to open up and talk. With any luck, you can get to the bottom of what is driving his anger issues, but at the very least, you will consistently let him know that his treatment of you or attempt to manipulate your relationship does not change your love for him. This consistency can be very important for teens that are prone to self-sabotage.

  4. Be an Example – Your teen may act like he is not paying attention to anything you say or do, but he is still watching to see how you react in certain situations. Set a good example by modelling the kind of behavior you expect to see in him. Not only will you demonstrate how to handle anger and conflict in a healthy way, but you will develop a deeper level of empathy for his struggle.

If you have tried everything you can think of to help your teen and he still isn’t responding to your efforts, it may be time to turn to more intensive help. Residential treatment centers help troubled boys with anger issues learn to overcome their challenges and learn healthy coping methods in a supportive and therapeutic environment. Sundance Canyon Academy is located in Utah and specializes in helping boys overcome their anger and defiance through a proven relationship based therapy method. For information about our program, or a consultation, please contact us at 866-678-2425.

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