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Tips on Teaching Anger Management to Teens

by Kay Ireland

Teen emotions can sometimes be extreme, especially when it comes to anger. If your teen is slamming doors, getting into yelling matches or having trouble getting along with his peers, a conversation about anger management is in order. By teaching your teen to manage and work through his anger, you'll give him the skills to moderate his emotions -- and maybe even score a more peaceful home.

Encourage Prevention

When it comes to anger management, understanding triggers and avoiding a potentially maddening circumstance is one of the most effective ways to deal with an angry teen. Talk to your teen about some of his triggers -- maybe he gets angry when he doesn't feel trusted or gets ticked when a teacher singles him out at school. By discussing some of the factors that make your teen mad, you can gain insight into his emotions. After all, anger is a reaction to another emotion such as fear, embarrassment or frustration, according to television talk show host Phil McGraw, writing at DrPhil.com. By helping your teen to label his anger, he can watch for events that set him off.

Teach Management Techniques

After discovering your teen's triggers, talk about management techniques that your teen can use when it's time to calm down. For some, that means leaving the scene and walking away to cool off. Other teens might benefit from breathing exercises to refocus energy away from anger. Boston Children's Hospital suggests repeating a calming word or hitting the gym to work through anger. Help your teen choose three or four coping mechanisms that he can use to deal with anger and caution him to call you if he still feels angry after using his techniques.

Accepting Consequences

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is watch your child suffer painful consequences. But one of the best ways to teach your teen about anger is to allow him to see the aftermath of anger. Whether it's a friend's hurt feeling or something as drastic as a suspension after he loses his temper with a teacher or administrator at school, it's nearly impossible to teach your teen anger management without letting him experience the negative effects of his extreme moods.

Seeking Help

Sometimes, anger is so extreme that you can't deal with it on your own as a parent. Part of your job is to recognize when teaching anger management is out of your realm and experience. In these cases, enlisting the help of a qualified mental health professional is your best bet. A teen therapist can meet with your teen to discover the reasons for anger, ways to deal and how to make your job as a parent of an angry teen easier and more fulfilling.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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