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Living with an angry teen can be extremely stressful. You might feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them, and you’re never quite sure what is going to cause them to snap. How do you take care of yourself and your teen when they act this way? Here are some tips.
Recognize What’s Normal
As your teen develops, they process things in a very different way than you do as an adult. As a result, it’s not uncommon for them to come into conflict with you; they are seeing the world quite differently than you are. Therefore, it’s helpful to recognize that some conflict and some emotional growing pains are normal. If the problem persists or seems ongoing, however, then it’s time to develop a strategy.
Understand the Root Cause
Another helpful thing to keep in mind as you cope with your teen’s anger is the root cause of the issue. Often, it will not be your fault. Perhaps they are stressed out at school, under peer pressure or struggling to understand who they are. Try to get to the root cause of their anger and help them to address this directly, rather than taking it personally.
You don’t have to engage in every argument or every temperamental outburst. If your teen is angry, try giving them some of their own space to just be angry, then to calm down. This will help you feel more emotionally detached from the situation as well, helping you to not take their mood so personally.
Establish Clear Ground Rules
It’s important to address your teen’s behavior—even if not immediately. Establish some clear ground rules for acceptable behavior with your teen, and if they act outside of that, be sure to enforce consequences. Just because your teen’s anger might not be your fault or might be a phase, doesn’t mean they should get away with aggressive or inappropriate behavior.