Teen Anger Management

Teen anger management may be needed for rebellious teens with anger issues. When parenting an angry teen, discipline is not always best. Not managing teen anger can lead to violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and more. Get tips on teen anger management.

Knowing how to control his or her anger can be an important step in reducing the chances that a teen will be involved in teen violence. Parents and teens should learn about anger management solutions, especially for a teen who has difficulty controlling his or her emotions.

Teens often feel emotions very strongly, and many not have learned yet how to control their strong emotions. Sometimes teens feel angry when they are hurt, afraid, tired, embarrassed, depressed, frustrated, or stressed out. Also, youth who have witnessed or been victims of violence often have trouble with teen anger management issues.

Anger doesn't need to be repressed, but does need to be controlled. Feeling angry, even at family members, can be a normal part of growing up, but teens need to learn healthy ways of dealing with it, like talking things through without yelling, taking a break to cool off when needed, and listening to the other person to find compromises.

Some of the negative effects of no teen anger management can include:

  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and pains
  • Poor performance in school
  • Poor relationships with others
  • Negative or dangerous behaviors, including teen violence
  • Feeling out of control
  • Getting into accidents if they drive or do other dangerous things when angry

Depending on the individual teen, there are several approaches or steps to teen anger management that may help him or her, such as:

  • Learning to recognize when they are feeling angry, such as increased heart rate and temperature and tensing in their bodies
  • Taking responsibility for their thoughts and actions and recognizing when they are negative
  • Stopping and thinking before acting or reacting, especially about the consequences of their actions for themselves and the people they care about
  • Learning what upsets them and avoiding it if possible, or walking away or taking a break from situations that start to make them angry
  • Learning better problem solving skills, such as listening to the other person's side of things and trying to find compromises
  • Calming down by taking deep, slow breaths, relaxing their muscles, and thinking about something that makes them calm
  • Writing their feelings down
  • Getting exercise
  • Engaging in positive activities like art, soothing music, or writing, and avoiding activities, music, or media that make them feel more angry
  • Finding positive ways to deal with stress, like meditating or talking through their problems with someone
  • Finding other things to think about or do when they feel like they can’t let something go that’s making them feel angry
  • Being patient, as it takes time to learn teen anger management

Teens who need help managing their anger should not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Since teens are still learning to control their emotions, there's nothing wrong with needing help learning to do so. Counselors can help teens and their families learn better ways to deal with anger. Parents can help by setting a good example for teens of not losing their tempers, or of getting help with their own anger management issues if necessary.


Children's Hospital Boston, Center for Young Women's Health, "Anger Management: A Guide for Teens" [online]
SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center, Helping Your Children Navigate Their Teenage Years: A Guide for Parents, "Managing Anger: Theirs and Yours" [online]
Nemours, TeensHealth, "How Can I Deal With My Anger?" [online]

Related Article: Teen Anger Counseling >>