handling teenage aggression
Mental Health, Parenting

Teenage Aggression: How to Deal With Angry Pre-Teens & Teens

Parenting a teenager or pre-teens is not easy. You may even think they are savages or aliens from outer space, but the fact remains that they are just wired differently at that age! Think about how you were as a teen?

I remember the grief I put my parents through (especially my mom!!) when I was a teen. Thinking back on that brings a smile to my face (and despair on my mom’s) Even after all this time… LOL!!

“Mothers of Teenagers Know Why Animals Eat Their Young.”

– Anonymous

Like all parents, my mum spent days and nights worrying about where I am, what I am doing, and who I am with. All because I failed to communicate properly with her because I was too angry or upset about something she said or did. Not to mention the external stressors, like falling expectations, peer pressure, friend issues, and what not!

Are you a parent to an aggressive and rebellious teen? Believe me when I say that it’s just a phase, and you will get through, eventually!!

Why are teenagers or this age is so aggressive?

Parenting a teen can be just as hard as being a teen…

You may wonder how your happy, obedient, and thoughtful baby has suddenly started arguing, screaming, and slamming doors at your face. Not only that, they have grown physically too. I get it… it is stressful. But you need to consider all things they are going through as well.

A teenager goes through a lot of changes, both physical and chemical. Their bodies are changing, and they are going through a lot of hormonal changes.

Moreover, this is the stage, teenagers begin to reassess their role both within society and their families. They seek to find out who they are and establish their separate identities. In the process, they get influenced by their surroundings, be it friends, acquaintances, or even their parents.

These factors put together result in a confused and flustered teen, and they are more prone to anger or aggressive outbursts as that is the only way to vent out or channelize their frustration. To top it all, teenagers also find themselves under intense pressure to do well in school too.

It’s no wonder teenagers are so cranky and moody!

Anger Vs. Aggression

Anger is a very normal, healthy emotion. We all feel anger at some point in our lives, but how different are anger and aggression? Simply put, anger is a feeling or emotion, and aggression is the behavior or action taken in anger. It could be hostile, destructive, or violent.

So, it is perfectly okay to get angry; however, aggressive behavior is not.

As a parent, you need to teach your child the difference between angry feelings and aggressive behavior. Teenagers need to understand that it is not alright to break objects, slam doors, or make threats just to get their way. As these could lead to severe consequences later on.

Teenage Aggression: A phase or a problem?

handling teenage aggression
Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

As a teen, I used to feel like I was carrying the entire world’s burden on my shoulders. My parent’s expectations for me to do well in my studies, the biological and chemical changes, the constant need to establish an identity for myself, and the need to keep up with my friends had me reeling at times! Leading me to be rebellious and defiant with the only person I could vent to… my mom!

There was a lot of shouting, eye-rolls, slamming doors, and whatnot… but years later, I understand that it’s just a phase (although a lot of arguments and eye-rolls happen even now!)

Back to the topic in hand…

With so much pressure around teens, it is only natural that they lash out with anger and defiance. And if this is not kept in check, these anger issues can lead to self-harm, violence, illegal activities like taking drugs or alcohol. Like all people are different, even teenagers have different emotional regulation capacities and maturity levels.

Let us look at some of the possible reasons why teenagers feel angry:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Peer pressure and constant bullying
  • Familial conflicts
  • Oppression
  • Puberty
  • Trauma
  • Addiction or abuse
  • Death of a loved one
  • Mental health issues

Coping with Adolescent Aggression

Did you know that one in five teens has anger management issues?

While anger is a normal emotion and it is okay to be angry but the issue here the how teens choose to vent it out — they can either assertively express their anger in a productive way without making threats or causing any harm or resort to more aggressive or passive methods.

If left unchecked, aggression (both active and passive) can lead to serious health issues.

Teenagers who tend to keep their anger holed up within them can suffer from constant headaches, shaking or trembling, stomach aches, sleeping issues, and more.

The others who vent out their anger in a more aggressive way may end up getting into physical fights, vandalism, and drugs. All these can eventually lead to legal issues and severe mental issues. Depression is the leading cause of teenage suicide; if it is left untreated.

Thankfully, there are many ways to effectively manage and control teenage aggression.

1. Seek out help from a professional

It would be best to consult a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professionals if you see any red flags.

Focus on your child’s needs rather than playing the blame game, as this will help them connect with you on a more emotional and social level.

And you need to offer constant support and care to improve the relationship between the two of you. It may be difficult at first but certainly not an impossible task if you keep at it!

2. Establish stronger connections

As a parent, you need to start a healthy conversation around the age and its complications well in advance. No, waiting the last moment of addressing the issue in hand. Start well in advance, when you see the changes have started showing up in the body as well as the psyche.

Your teenager will make an effort to understand where you are coming from only if you try from your end. Listen to them without any judgment and be a friend to them to realize that you value them and understand them.

Try and find common ground between the two of you — something that both of you will enjoy doing together.

3. Give them the space they require

If you are angry, the first thing your mind and body seek would be some me-time aka space.

Your teenager is angry, it would be best to let them cool off rather than demanding apologies or getting angry yourself or nagging as it would only anger them further. Do not push them to the end and create a mountain out of the mole, wait till the things are cooled down, and then start the most needed conversation.

4. Set out some basic rules and consequences

As a parent, you can set up some basic rules and discipline, also the punitive actions for following them. Let your teenager know what can happen if these rules are not followed.

Also, give them rewards and appreciate them if they do well. After all, every teenager seeks acceptance and attention from their parents. Remember, they are still babies seeking your attention, love, understanding inside their growing bodies.

5. Introduce meditation and other relaxation techniques

Yoga, meditation, and several relaxation techniques can help teenagers cope with stress and anger. Performing these techniques with your teen can help you connect with them and manage your feelings more effectively.

handling teenage aggression

Parting Thought: Teenage Aggression would not last forever

Speak to your child and support them in their endeavors. It is important that they understand that you would be there for them no matter what. Encourage them to speak to you and come to you for any trouble, and do not hesitate to take professional help should the need arise.

Eventually, your teen will overcome their problems and mature into a happy and healthy young adult.

This post is part of the CauseAChatter Initiative by BlogChatter.

To read the previous posts from the challenge, click here.


©Dipika Singh. This article is the property of the site’s author. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links are used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

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