Adolescent anger management is such a tough problem because adolescence is an in-between time--a teen is no longer a child and not yet an adult. Anger is often a natural part of this transition from childhood to adulthood.
Angry teens are not bad kids. They're having trouble with anger, and that makes them tough to deal with, but when you learn to understand, empathize and respond in a helpful way, you'll see them improve and become the good kids they really are.
They're having those anger problems for very good reasons. Find out (on this site) what those reasons are, and you can help them.
I congratulate you for caring enough to be here, to make a positive difference for teens.
Watch this adolescent anger management video of Dr. DeFoore speaking at Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas.
I hope you enjoyed that adolescent anger management video. Please contact us if you would like to have Dr. DeFoore speak to your school, church or organization.
The message you're sending is that you don't condemn or judge them for their anger, you're just trying to keep everybody safe. This is the basis of any good approach to adolescent anger management.
After they've had their say and reach a stopping point, say something like,"Okay, what I'm hearing you say is..." or "So I think you're saying..." then repeat back to them exactly what they just said. Try to use their own words, with little or no interpretation of your own.
You want to make this about their feelings, not yours. This has to be done with total respect, if you want it to be effective. Any sarcasm or frustration from you will sabotage your efforts to provide good adolescent anger management.
Do this even if you don't agree, or don't like what they're saying. This is not about agreeing or being right, it's about forming a connection so that you can help. Your efforts at adolescent anger management just won't work without empathy and understanding.
In other words, they won't be able or willing to hear you until they feel that you've heard and understood them. Watch their eyes, and you'll know when they're listening, and when you've lost them.
No consequences until you understand them. And make the consequences match the problem behavior.
Remember, if they feel heard by you, they'll be more likely to hear you. Teen anger management has a lot more to do with emotion and nonverbal communication than anything else. Kids who get involved in school violence and teen violence are usually not talking to their parents. You could actually be saving lives here.
Adolescents feel much more relaxed and secure when their parents are clear and firm in their authoritative role as parents. It's actually scary for teens to have more power than they're supposed to.
Do you have a story you'd like to tell about this? Or a question you'd like to ask? Let's hear it! Give as much detail as you can. I (Dr. DeFoore) will answer your question for you, and my response will be a part of the page for you and others to read.
Feel free to also review our FAQ page (frequently asked questions), to see if your question has already been answered.
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