On one day, you wake up feeling like your usual self – happy, smiling and looking forward to spending time with your parents and siblings. It seems like overnight, this changes and you begin to wonder, “why am I so angry all the time?”. Things that didn’t bother you before now cause you to blow up. You find yourself yelling at your parents – and being sent to your room. What happened? Are you going crazy? Is this just one of those things you and your family need to learn to muddle through?
Why am I so Angry?
As your body begins to make the transition from childhood to adolescence, your brain triggers the flow of hormones. Your body isn’t used to these substances and you begin to feel mood swings that might scare you. One moment, you’re laughing with your mom; in the next, you’re struggling not to yell at her, wondering, “Why am I angry all the time?”. Some parents have likened the hormone rushes to the hits of drugs that addicts take. While you and your peers aren’t using drugs, the hormones flowing through your bloodstream and brain can make you act in ways that are uncharacteristic for you.
Hormone rushes aren’t the only things to cause your emotions to go out of whack. Think about the stress you’re under at school, home and in society. You’re doing more homework than you’ve ever had to do before. You like someone and you’re not sure they like you back.
In some school districts across the U.S., students are taking many more standardized tests, some of which affect their ability to graduate from high school. That is a pressure they may not be ready to handle. They find themselves blowing up at everyone around them, then they begin to try to understand why they’re angry. They may not be angry all the time, but it feels like it. They may not like it either.
For these teens, awareness is the first step. Before they begin to tackle their tendency to blow up at everything, they need to realize that anger is a normal emotion. It’s how they handle their feelings in the moment that counts.
Teens need to learn to identify what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. This means that the “stupid” thing their parents may have said isn’t the reason they want to yell at them. Instead, it may be that they had to do four hours of homework the day before and they still have several more hours to complete before they are finished for the week. self awareness.
Why Do I Get So Angry?
Many teens experience anger and rebellion. It’s a natural part of their development. Some teens and adults tend to bottle up their anger. As they experience more and more irritants, they eventually blow up, losing their tempers in one huge blowout. Other teens and adults express their feelings as they experience an irritant.
It’s the second group of teens that expresses their feelings appropriately, according to Family Education. That is, something happens and they get angry in a way that is proportional to the trigger. The first group of teens may have a blowout that is way out of proportion. For instance, a teen from this group has been stuffing their feelings for several days wanted to watch a particular television program didn’t get to do so. Instead of focusing on the loss of their television program for a few minutes, they begin to rant and scream at the family member responsible for the teen not viewing their program. They may kick the dining room table leg or throw their backpack down the hallway. They scream or holler as loudly as they can, ensuring that neighbors can hear every word they say. Deep within, they may wonder, “Why am I angry?”
The Relationship Between Stress and Anger
Something triggers the anger that teens experience. Today’s teens are more likely to experience more stress factors than teens of earlier decades did. The U.S. has been continuously at war since 2001, meaning that many of today’s teens have never known peacetime. School shootings and rough economic conditions add to the stress. Frequent changes can also add to the stresses teens are dealing with, writes KidsHealth. From increased academic expectations to after-school jobs or sports, these teens are busy doing something almost every hour they are awake. They may not have much time to simply relax and “be.” As pressures build, they are more likely to act angry and out of character.
Teens are supposed to begin separating themselves from their parents. It’s a sign that their parents are raising them right when they begin to make their own autonomous decisions, even when their parents don’t like those decisions. If they begin to hang out with a kid their parents don’t like, they may tell their parents that they have the right to choose their own friends. The same battles can arise over hair styles or length, clothing, grades, or extracurricular activities. Teens who used to easily accept their parents’ decisions may feel scared and confused as they find themselves gravitating to people, activities and fashions their parents may not approve of. As they struggle to make themselves heard, they may go through – and cause – some arguments. Here are some of the areas that can cause teen-parent conflict:
- My family has other priorities and they don’t have time for me.
- I have too much on my mind and can’t control some of what’s going on.
- My parents argue with each other. Why can’t they handle their disagreements?
- When my parents make me feel guilty about a past event, I get angry.
- If I had a bad day and just want to forget it ever happened, I get angry at mom and dad for asking about my day.
Parents Are Only Trying To Help!
Your parents were teens themselves. Believe it or not, they remember those days and they know you’re going through some confusing times and feelings. They want to help you get through what can feel like a frightening time. While you may not want to remember your teacher yelling at you or one of the “mean girls” at school making fun of you, if you tell them a little about your day, they will understand. They may not agree with what you want to do or what you did to handle a situation, but you may feel a little better once you’ve expressed yourself to them.
Your parents can’t avoid upsetting you. They’re human and they’re going to make mistakes as they try to help you.
If your parents try to handle your anger by getting angry at you and insulting you, this won’t help you. Instead, they may suggest going into separate rooms to cool down. Once everyone is less emotional, they may be able to discuss your situation more calmly and develop some solutions.
Tips For Parents Who Have Angry Teens
Parents, here are a few tips as you work to parent a teen who seems always angry:
- Stick with it. Continue expressing your love for your child. It’ll sink in.
- Develop a sense of humor. The arguments and behavior are going to happen. When you’re able to put a humorous twist on your relationship, you may be able to look at it from a new perspective, according to Psych Central.
- Don’t take your teen’s anger personally. Their anger may come from another source.
- Your teen is just as scared as you are.
- Allow your teen to save face if they have gone too far. Kid them.
- Understand the anger may be masking teen depression. If their anger isn’t proportional, ask for a professional evaluation.
Some teens have anger problems that are expressed in physical aggression and even violence. These parents shouldn’t try to hide the violence and aggression, especially if their child acts out against them or another family member. Instead, they need to get help for their teen and family. The parents may feel as though they have failed somehow in raising or controlling their teen.
An aggressive or violent teen can cause the home environment to become tense and fearful, according to the National Health Service.
Parents are their teen’s role models – by modeling aggression, they communicate to their teens that aggression is acceptable. Instead, they should try to stay calm as they give their teens a chance to express themselves.
Don’t Worry; It’s Normal
As children become adolescents and teens, their hormones and feelings can confuse them, coming out as anger toward parents and family members. However, it is absolutely normal. How families handle this change determines how everyone will come out at the other end.