Teen boys generally enter their adolescent years as rambunctious, talkative, young men interested in just about everything that keeps their attention. And then, Bang, something happens, something deceptive you cannot put your finger on that doesn’t happen overtly. But slowly, your usually kind boy, the little boy who loved to be tickled and play with you may roll his eyes at a conversation and leave you, especially in public. He starts to internalize his deepest thoughts and dreams alone, if at all, rather than with you. He becomes obsessed with gaming, friends, and even girls. He may drop out of soccer, football or basketball, quit the youth group, and declare that his best friends are his family.
As he begins hormonal changes, anger can take the family for a surprising turn of conversation at dinner as he insists he wants to eat in his room. He never wants to have a night at home with mom and dad or spend time with his siblings. It’s hard not to ask yourself where you may have gone wrong. You are not alone in this quest. Although some rebellion is normal, there is no excuse for outright anger towards you and his siblings.
The Downward Spiral of Anger in Teen Boys
For teen boys, becoming a man, and proving manhood to his friends for respect can cause rash decisions and poor choices. This downward cycle becomes a vacuum that some boys have a difficulty coming out of. Because this situation is truly not who the teen boy is, he becomes even more angry and frustrated, setting off anger and potential aggravation that can turn into violence if escalated.
Does your teen tend to yell and scream or say hurtful, mean, disrespectful things? Do they throw things, kick or punch walls, break stuff? Hit someone, hurt themself, or push and shove others around?
For most people who have trouble harnessing a hot temper, reacting like this is not what they want. They feel ashamed by their behavior and don’t think it reflects the real them, their best selves. Managing anger is about developing new skills and new responses. As with any skill, like playing basketball or learning the piano, it helps to practice over and over again.
When to Ask for Extra Help
Sometimes anger is a sign that more is going on. People who have frequent trouble with anger, who get in fights or arguments, who get punished, who have life situations that give them reason to often be angry may need special help to get a problem with anger under control.
Here are some signs that your teen may need help in dealing with their anger:
- They have a lasting feeling of anger over things that have either happened to them in the past or are going on now.
- Irritable, grumpy, or in a bad mood more often than not.
- Consistently angry or raging at themself.
- Anger that lasts for days or makes them want to hurt themself or someone else.
- Often in fights or arguments
Anger is a strong emotion. It can feel overwhelming at times. Learning how to deal with strong emotions — without losing control — is part of our program that restores troubled teens to health. It takes a little effort, a little practice, and a little patience, and we’re here to help your teen effectively deal with their anger.