What Are Anger Management Techniques for Teens?

According to the American Psychological Association, when a teen's anger gets out of control and turns destructive, it leads to problems at school, in personal relationships and in his overall quality of life 2. Teens with difficulty managing their anger effectively tend to respond with verbal and physical aggression. Anger management techniques can help build teens' awareness of anger and improve their ability to implement better self-control skills 3. For anger management to be successful, it's important for teens to be accountable for their anger and avoid blaming their emotions on other people or events 3.

Identify Triggers

It is important for teens to identify situations and experiences that anger them. Once teens are able to recognize anger triggers, they can learn how to handle these situations more effectively. Common triggers include feeling misunderstood, feeling disrespected, too many expectations -- from school or parents, for example -- and being told “no.”

Recognize Warning Signs

Anger causes physiological responses, such as:

  • increased heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • muscle tension,
  • adrenaline rushes

Helping your teen recognize the warning signs of anger will allow him to use his self-control skills to deescalate the situation.

Rational Self-Talk

Dr. Tony Fiore and Dr. Ari Novick, authors of “Anger Management for the 21st Century,” claim that learning to change through self-talk can enable teens to deal with anger more effectively 13. It is important to stop negative thoughts that tend to be exaggerated and replace them with rational thinking. An example of rational self-talk is, “It is understandable that I am upset, but getting angry isn’t going to fix anything.”

Develop Coping Skills

These coping skills help teens manage their anger and prevent it from escalating 3.

Think Before Acting

When angered, teens tend to react impulsively and don’t take time to consider the consequences of their actions. Teens can improve their self-control by learning to consider healthy alternative solutions. For example, rather then yelling and cursing at their parents during disagreements, teens can learn to communicate respectfully, to share their thoughts and feelings, and to increase their willingness to compromise.

Know When to Walk Away

In some instances, a teen’s anger may escalate to a level of intensity that makes it difficult to employ anger-management techniques 3. Encourage your teen to walk away from the situation until he is able to calm down. Once calm, a teen will be more equipped to think rationally, to communicate effectively and to find a healthy solution.

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