Parents with a teenager who gets angry all the time and whose anger is explosive often look for ways to handle the situation. If you are one of those parents, your teenager is angry, and you want to know how to handle the situation smartly, then read on. Here are some tips to help improve the situation.
Meaning of Calming the Angry Teenager
Calming an angry teen can also be referred to as de-escalation. It’s not about reasoning with them. It’s all about reducing the intensity of the teen’s emotions and anger so that you can reach a productive place. Once the teen calms down, only then you can expect some reasoning and fruitful discussions.
As de-escalation is not the usual response of most people, it needs to be learned. It might feel unnatural for the first few times, but then you will develop a habit.
Safety Must be the First Priority
When de-escalating a situation, ensure that you keep yourself safe. If you think the teen is hurting you emotionally or might hurt you physically, switch the focus to protecting yourself and those around you.
How to Keep Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe from an Angry Teenager?
Here are some simple ways to keep yourself safe:
- Don’t engage with an angry teen- If you think your teen might get angry and hurt you or your loved ones, don’t engage with them. Stay quiet, and don’t be provoked by their harsh words.
- Move away from them- For that, you can go to another room or go for a walk. Getting some physical distance from the angry teen will make it difficult for them to hurt you physically.
Don’t feel guilty about moving away from an angry teen and leaving them alone if you did it for your own or a loved one’s safety.
How to Calm Down Physically?
If you want to de-escalate a situation, you must ensure that you are physically calm. For that, you must check if the door is clear, increase the physical distance from the teen and ensure your body language is neutral.
How to Calm Down Emotionally?
Calming down emotionally is just as essential as calming down physically when dealing with an angry teenager. First, you need to check in with yourself. Then you need to take some deep breaths and debrief with someone sometime later. It can be anyone you trust, like a friend, your spouse, your parents, etc.
Other Important Tips Regarding Teen Anger Management
When talking to an angry teen, you must use a neutral tone of voice. Don’t let them know what you are thinking or feeling.
It is also a good idea to be respectful. An angry teen often feels shame and guilt when they are too angry. So, if you use a disrespectful tone, they might imagine insults and be extremely sensitive. This might also increase their anger further.
Having a Conversation
The thought of having a conversation with an angry teen can be daunting. It will require a lot of effort. But it would help if you tried to reduce the intensity of their emotion and show them you are willing to make things work and are there for them.
Here are some tips that might help:
- Listen to your teen and allow them to speak till they want to without interruptions. If you interrupt them, they might just walk away and never talk again!
- Count back from ten to let them calm down. It will help you to calm down as well.
- Ask specific questions to know what made them angry. Don’t be rude but be respectful when asking questions.
- Validate their feelings whenever possible. Many teens are very sensitive about validation. Remember that!
- If they are being rude, don’t answer them. Stay quiet for a while.
- Never counter anger with anger, as it might make the situation worse.
- Give them a choice to talk about their issues at a later time when they have calmed down.
- Find out the reason for the angry outburst from other sources if your teen is not opening up.
- Ask them to take a break or tell them you need one.
- Use positive words like “I would like to be honest and fair to you.”
- Demonstrate understanding by using words like “I understand where you are coming from.”
What to Do After the Angry Outburst of Your Teen?
If one or more of the abovementioned methods have worked and your teenager has calmed down, you need to move to the next stage. In this stage, you need to avoid talking about the outburst. Instead, you need to do something together, you and your teen love. It can be anything you both like and often do together, like gardening, cooking, baking, playing a sport, etc.
Spending quality time together will help you calm down and engage your mind elsewhere. After some time, you can talk to the teen to find out what led to the angry outburst and why their anger was so uncontrolled. When you work together, you can break the anger cycle by working on and avoiding the triggers.
You can also try suggesting some simple anger management methods to your teen available online, like writing a journal, running, playing a sport, etc. If your teen tries several of these methods, one might work for them.
Consult an Expert
If you have trouble handling your teen’s anger and want an expert’s help on how to proceed, then you can trust me, Michelle Mehta, a certified professional co-active coach, an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, and a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner.
I am passionate about helping teenagers feel authentic, empowered, worthy, loved and helping them create a sense of belonging and believe that the world needs their talents. So, if you feel you’re called to have your teenager work with me, let’s set up a time to talk and connect. I look forward to Empowering Your Teenager to Shine with Confidence. To know more about how I can offer help, please click here.