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How To Deal With Your Angry Teenager: What You Can Do For Them And Yourself

Only parents or guardians of a teenager can understand the frustration of dealing with the temper and anger of their adolescent. Teenagers can exhibit their anger and frustration in many ways by shouting, slamming doors to breaking things. Kids who are undergoing puberty will have naturally increased emotions irrespective of what the parents’ have or have not done.  Seeing your teen raging all the time makes any parent want to help them in some way or the other, more so if their aggressive behavior is causing a rift in the family or leading to self-harm.

Helping your teenager starts with understanding them and the signs which are their trigger for anger. In this article we will discuss this in more detail along with helpful tips to help your kid with the more challenging parts of puberty.

What can Cause a Teen to Get Angry?

Like any other human emotion, anger is one such where it can be felt when things do not go according to plan and some of the causes for this are: rejection, injustice, unfairness, loss of something and disappointment over something. However, teenagers seem to have more anger problems and get angry for small things. There are many things that are responsible for this to occur, one being that they are teenagers and are going through lot of changes physically and emotionally, as they are in their growing stage. Some of the common causes for this rage in teens are:

Hormones: Hormones are one of the biggest reasons for all the emotional upheaval in their life. Increase in estrogen or testosterone causes a teen to feel more emotional and can also affect the areas of the brain that are responsible for restraint and judgment increasing their chances for acting out more(1). All this is actually an important part of puberty. Growing up also means the ability to take your own decisions whether the result is good or bad.

Depression: If your teen does not have a healthy outlet for their frustration or anger, then these negative emotions get bottled up and lead to depression. Instead of addressing all these emotions in a positive and healthy manner, one does these instead:

  • Reprimand themselves for mistakes happened in the past.
  • Focus on their perceived flaws.
  • Punish themselves or self-harm in different ways.

Anger and frustration when suppressed can cause depression; however, depression also can lead to anger and irritability, so it is a vicious cycle, more so for teenagers. According to studies, more than 3% of teens and children in America have a diagnosis of depression (2).

Stress: Each one of us has stress in some way or form and of course in today’s time, teenagers have more on their plate than before causing more stress for them. Some of the stressors, which today’s child has to face consists of concern over their online presence, such as on social media; the fear of school shootings and previously the COVID-19 pandemic. Teenagers depend on adults for survival, even though they have a good understanding of the world and its problems in general. Adults should help them find a sense of purpose by encouraging them to participate in activities, such as volunteering as a way to control their emotions and to feel good about themselves.

Problems at Home: Any type of family conflict, such as stress caused by estrangement or divorce also affects the mood of your teen (3). The negative emotions can be contagious. If your teen gets angry, then it may be more due to the situation than you and not knowing how to express it, they lash out on anyone in front of them.   It also can be that they feel safe in venting their feelings in front of you, as they know that you will not hurt them and they can be vulnerable in front of you.

What are the Important Indications of Restlessness and Anger in Teenager?

Zero Patience: This can be seen when your teen keeps on interrupting you about something in a louder voice each time.

More Movement: When your teen starts gesturing wildly when describing others’ behavior and when they start pounding up the stairs or slam the door shut loudly, these are some vital indications of their bad mood.

Use of Bad Language: When swear words and insults come freely to your teen and they use bad words to describe others and their behavior.

No Manners: Your child speaks abruptly without any regard for your feelings.

More Passive Aggression: Eye-rolling and sarcasm are important indications of their anger simmering beneath the surface.

Blaming Parents: You teen is always accusing you of nagging and not leaving them alone. 

Is It Just Anger Or Is There More To It?

As a parent one always worries about the mood and behavior of your adolescent and it also becomes difficult to understand if their anger is temporary or a common stage in their teenage years or is it a sign of something more serious?

Getting angry frequently does not indicate a mental health condition; however, it is also better to seek professional help if your teen does the following:

  • Has difficulty in falling asleep or can function on very little sleep.
  • Becomes physically aggressive by shoving people, throwing things or getting into fights easily.
  • Has unexplained scars and bruises.
  • Withdraws or cuts off from all family members and friends.
  • Is focused on thoughts of people who have “wronged” them and talks a lot about getting revenge.
  • Tends to interpret neutral remarks as criticism or insults and is overly sensitive to rejection.
  • Doesn’t seem to be excited or happy even when good things occur.

How can parents provide support to their teen?

Acknowledge their feelings (5): When your kid is angry about something on someone, then try not to downplay their feelings or the situation and instead try to validate their feelings by listening to them and acknowledging what they are feeling. This goes a long way in helping them feel heard and helps in better management of their anger and frustration.

Help them find an outlet: Help your kid to channel their angry feelings towards something more productive. Encourage them to go for a run when their emotions threaten to overwhelm them. Exercise helps a lot in managing anger and other negative emotions (4). Listening to music or watching their favorite show also improves the mood.

Use Relaxation Strategies: Some of the methods which can really help your teen in calming down are: journaling, deep breathing, walking in nature, meditation and relaxing music.

Seek Professional Help: In some cases, anger can be a sign of something more, such as a mental health condition that needs professional help. A psychiatrist or therapist should be consulted to treat your teen. If your child doesn’t want to visit a “shrink,” then the following tips are helpful:

  • Give your children the option of choosing their own therapists. This can enable them to feel more in control of their situation.
  • You can also join a counseling session with your child. Family therapy feels like a team effort for the child and encourages them to feel better.
  • Always respect your teen’s privacy and if they are asking for one-on-one therapy sessions, then give it to them along with making them understand the confidentiality aspect of counseling. This will encourage them to open up more if they know that their conversation with their therapist is going to remain private.

How Should Parents Support Themselves?

Having to face and deal a teen’s anger can test even the strongest of the parents. The parents can help themselves by (5):

Schedule Some Personal Time: Keep aside an hour to yourself to take a nap or read a book or catch a favorite movie. Self-care helps in keeping your cool when dealing with your tumultuous teen.

Nothing Lasts Forever: Remind yourself that this is a temporary phase and not going to last forever. The early stages of puberty can be stormy; however, children will mellow out as they grow up.

Reaching Out: Parenting can be overwhelming and it is recommended talking to your parent friends or to join a support group for help.


When you are a parent to a teenager, you are likely to face a lot of temper issues and bad moods. However, it is important to remember that testiness and irritability are a normal part of adolescence and growing up, so it is better to not take it to heart. When you are also on the verge of losing your cool, remind yourself that family is forever and puberty is temporary.

Anger is a natural emotion and teenagers seem to have this emotion constantly in their adolescent life. The duty of a parent is to learn how to manage and guide their kids when they are at their most vulnerable and also keep reassuring them that they are not alone and you are always there to support them.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 23, 2024

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