Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dealing with teen anger

Mark Gregston

Anger in your teenager can take on many faces. It can be a seething anger kept quietly below the surface, or a tidal wave unleashed on everyone around them. Anger can manifest itself in a covert refusal to comply with your household rules or wishes, or outright acts that can ruin their relationships, undermine their own future or bring harm to themselves. And if left unchecked, it can lead to violence and trouble with the law.

Anger in teenagers usually comes from some unmet need or heart-longing. Such "wants" can be immature and selfish; like wanting more material things. Or the more complicated want for control and independence. But these can also be a smokescreen for deeper wants, like the want for love, acceptance, or even the want for more clearly defined rules to live by. Or, it can be a want for life to be the way it was before a major event took place, like the breakup of the family, the loss of innocence, or a betrayal. Anger can also come from the want to not be ridiculed or bullied, or the want to be "normal" as defined by today's teen culture.

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