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Teens Who Only Show Anger With Parents

by Tiffany Raiford

It’s frustrating to discover that your teen isn’t angry with the world, but only with you. When you see her laughing and enjoying life with her friends, siblings and other relatives, it's hard to accept that her sullen and angry behavior is directed at you. While it’s normal for your teen to be angry with you occasionally, it’ll help if you understand why your teen seems so hell-bent on making your life miserable.

Why are Teens so Angry With Their Parents?

According to Michael G. Conner, a psychologist who practices family, medical and clinical psychology, no one single reason explains why teens are angry with parents. Your teen might be so angry with you because she feels pressured, she’s under a lot of stress, you and her other parent fight, or because she feels that you don’t understand what her life is like. For example, she might be angry with you because when she tries to talk to you about stressful aspects of her life, you just tell her that it’s a part of life or that her problems aren’t real problems, rather than taking her feelings seriously and respecting them.

It Might Be Serious, But Not Personal

It’s easy to take it personally when your teen is angry with you. According to psychologist and marriage and family counselor Marie Hartwell-Walker, writing at Psychcentral.com, you should work on not taking his anger personally. While his anger might be directly related to something you’ve done, chances are that if you’ve treated him with respect and fairness, given him love and affection and always put his best interests first, he’s not angry with you. In this circumstance, he’s angry at something else in his life and you are just an easy target for his anger and unhappiness.

Parents Make it Worse

When your teen is angry and she only shows anger toward you, it is easy to become angry in return, shouting and slamming doors. According to family psychologist Michael G. Conner, writing at Crisiscounseling.com, you should avoid this type of anger in yourself at all costs. You only make the problem worse, providing a valid reason for your teen to become angry with you. Instead, remain calm and tell her you understand she’s frustrated and angry, but you are still the parent and she is still the child and she will follow the rules.

Hold On to Your Sense of Humor

Few aspects of life are as frustrating or make you as crazy as the mood swings of your teenager. Regardless of how angry he is with you -- and for whatever unknown reason you seem to have made him so angry -- you need to hold on to your sense of humor, advises Hartwell-Walker. Without your sense of humor, your teen’s anger can make your life miserable. Maintaining a sense of humor can diffuse even the most anger-filled circumstance. Remember that parenting is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be boring or depressing, either. For example, the next time your teen gets angry with you for telling him it’s time to do his homework, tell him that he’s right. He doesn’t need to do his homework, but you hope that he enjoys his six years of high school. He’ll get the point.

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