Anger is a dangerous emotion and can cause teenagers to act out physically and verbally in a very damaging way. The one good thing about a child who expresses his anger is that it is an indication of a deeper problem and you can get to a solution more quickly. Teenagers who are extremely angry could be victims of abuse, suffering from depression, abusing alcohol or drugs, dealing with grief or other problems.
If your child is expressing bouts of anger, take a look at this behavior and try to determine what situations bring out the anger. Don’t fuel the anger by elevating your own emotions. Of course, if your child is causing physical harm to someone in your home, you need to take action. Even then – keep it calm – just do what you need to stop the abuse from occurring.
Talk to your teenager when emotions aren’t so high. Try to understand where they are coming from and really listen. Ensure they understand that mentally and physically abusive behavior isn’t acceptable. If they feel angry, give them the opportunity to express it or if they feel like they just need a bit of time alone, allow them to get that. Harassing an emotionally-charged youngster isn’t going to solve anything.
Depression: If you think your child is depressed, it may not be as easy to sit down and talk to your child about it. In cases where children are abusing drugs or alcohol (which can also be a sign of depression), they are aware that they are participating in forbidden behavior (doing drugs or alcohol). When someone is depressed, they may not be completely aware or may have a harder time talking about it.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your teenager. If they’re feeling down, help them talk about it. In most cases, these feelings are temporary and kids can snap out of it with a bit of compassion and understanding. In other cases, it may be an indication of actual depression that may need professional help.
Signs of Depression: Teenagers get moody, but if these symptoms become persistent it might become problematic.
- Sadness &/or crying.
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Lack of energy
- Change in sleep patterns
- Change in eating habits
- Not interacting with friends
- Low self-esteem
- Sensitivity to rejection
- Missing a lot of school
- Inability to concentrate
If your teen has any of these symptoms on an ongoing basis, talk to your doctor or other trusted professional. They can refer you to a counselor or other professional to get your child the help she needs. When you decide to get your teen help, talk to your teen about it and be sure to give them some say in what steps are taken or they may be resistant to help.