In an earlier post, I shared a list of 10 amazing anger management books mostly suitable for adults. But what if your teenager cannot get a hold of their anger issues? You might need to do more than get them to read anger management books.
In this article, I’ll explain some vital strategies to help teenagers manage anger.
But first, parents must understand their teen’s anger, so I’ll briefly discuss that before sharing tips on anger management for teens.
Understanding Teenage Anger
Coping with anger can be challenging for teenagers, and because many of them feel overwhelmed by the emotion, they can yield to the desire and express the feeling in ways that can hurt themselves and others.
Teens often express anger differently than younger children, so you won’t expect temper tantrums in teens and young adults. However, teens may express difficult emotions, such as sadness, frustration, and feeling hurt, the same way they show anger because they don’t know other ways to show these other emotions.
Therefore, parents need to find out the cause of their teen’s anger before offering guidance on healthy ways to express their emotions.
That’s another way of saying that your teenager’s problematic display of anger (such as getting into fights or destroying valuables) may not necessarily mean they are mad at someone or an object.
The child may feel powerless or frustrated at a situation, and the only way they know to discharge the emotion is to act in problematic ways.
Tips on Anger Management for Teens
This is no one “best” anger management tip that works for every person, no matter their age. For this reason, I encourage you to try the following strategies with your teen and stick with the ones that work.
Writing down what comes to mind when a child is angry can provide a healthier way to express anger. Teach your teen the value of journaling, explaining how they can let off steam more creatively by writing their thoughts.
Writing can also provide a chance to review their notes when they are calmer to see any recurring theme, which can be helpful in finding a lasting solution to the anger issue.
If your teenager isn’t really into writing, they may want to try drawing when they feel angry. Whatever creative abilities they have can be helpful in expressing anger in a less destructive way.
Another creative way to express intense emotion as an angry teen is through music. Most teens love music, whether it is dancing, singing, or listening to their favorite songs – music can help teenagers let off steam and find relief without resorting to destructive behaviors.
Don’t Ignore a Healthy Diet
Food greatly impacts our overall mood and eating a balanced diet can boost your spirits. Unfortunately, many kids consume too many foods and treat containing high sugar and calorie, which contribute to stress, anxiety, and bad moods.
You can help your kids relieve stress and difficult emotion and improve their overall mood by providing rich and healthy diets. As a parent, ensure that children eat at the right time, and their diets include healthy foods, such as vegetables, fresh fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
Healthy foods can significantly reduce stress, which is a major contributing factor to anger in teenagers.
Go to Bed Early Every Night
There’s a high chance you’ll end up grumpy for most of your day if you don’t have adequate shuteye time at night. The same is true for children of all ages.
This is why parents need to ensure that their children get enough sleep at night by going to bed early.
Aside from encouraging your teenager to sleep for between 8 to 10 hours per night, as The National Sleep Foundation recommends, teens should also enjoy quality sleep.
- Making their bedroom conducive for sleeping (dim lighting, less noise, etc.).
- Fewer interruptions at night (eating the right meal to avoid frequent bathroom visits at night).
Do Physical Exercise
Besides offering a ton of health benefits, a good workout can help teens feel more relaxed and calmer because physical exercise promotes the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) and can improve mental health.
Encourage your teenager to get physically active and do a few different workouts almost daily, as this will help maintain a more balanced mood and improve sleep quality.
Remind your teenager to go for a quick run or brisk walk whenever they feel anger coming on. This will give them enough time to process the emotion, let off steam, and find more productive ways to approach the situation.
Here’s something you want to remember when it comes to physical exercise and similar coping skills for teen anger management. Do not encourage your teenager to take a swing at a punching bag or pillow in a bid to relieve stress or decrease anger.
Although hitting a punching is a good full-body workout, and some people recommend it for anger management, it is actually not an effective tool when it comes to anger management for teens and their angry feelings.
Research shows that instead of having a calming effect, hitting a punching bag or pillow can increase aggression and angry feelings.
Think about it this way: using aggression or violence to let off anger is counterproductive and will increase the unpleasant emotion.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and deep breathing aren’t strictly for adults; teens can also use these relaxation practices to calm themselves down.
Parents should consider introducing children to positive affirmations for kids early in the developmental journey because these coping skills and tools can help ease tension, reduce irritability, relieve stress, and minimize expressing anger in problematic ways.
These tips on anger management for teens are usually effective. However, they may not work for everyone because teen anger can be a resulting emotion from several causes.
If anger continues to be an issue for your teenager, despite using these tips, you might want to seek professional help. Sometimes, the problem might be linked to a mental health disorder, making it difficult for your child to get a grip on their emotions.
A therapist will be able to recommend the best treatment in such cases like an anger management class, anger management program, or counseling.