How to Handle an Angry Teen: 3 Strategies You Can Deploy Today

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Everyone warns new parents to expect angry teenagers when puberty rolls around, but many parents are often surprised at how intense these outbursts can be. 

Teens seem to be able to shift from deliriously happy to uncontrolled rage in an instant. If you are not prepared for the outbursts, it’s easy to let your emotions control your reaction. Here are three strategies parents can use to keep calm during an emotional tsunami. 

Take A Breath Before Responding

After days of lip-smacking, eye-rolling, and bad attitude from your teen, it can be easy to snap and meet a sudden outburst of teen rage head-on with your own battering ram of explosive emotions. 

It’s essential to take a beat before you snap and let logic guide your response. A snapping, snarling fight with your teen won’t diminish their anger; it’s more likely to enable it. Lower your voice and speak calmly. Doing this often results in the teen losing steam and calming down. 

Let Them Vent and Then Get Back to Them

If you have tried talking calmly, but your teen obviously has a lot of rage left in the tank, it’s sometimes prudent to walk away. Let them know you will be available when they are ready to talk calmly, but the discussion is over for now. 

Listen More

Like most parents, you are probably overrun with house chores and work stuff. Sometimes, responses to your teen’s issues like “just get over it”, “toughen up,” or “it’s not a big deal” may seem perfectly reasonable to you. 

After all, you’ve been there, done that, and you turned out fine, but your indifferent response can make your teen feel disrespected and unheard. 

Many of the issues parents have learned to deal with over decades of experience are brand new and stressful to a teen. You don’t have to agree with what they are saying, but you need to show you understand it matters to them. Make sure to let them know you will be ready to support them when they have had time to calm down.  

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