Does your teen easily become agitated or upset? Does he or she often have a negative outlook or use hurtful language?

Perhaps your teen also seems to be pushing you away and rejecting your help.

Bad behavior from an angry teen can be exhausting for you as a parent. You want your teen to let you help. You’re also tired of feeling disrespected!

Angry teen behavior is a teen trying to communicate his or her needs to you in an ineffective way. Click To Tweet

Here are a few insights into what your teen may be trying to tell you, as well as what you can do to address this as a parent.


1. An angry teen may need space in order to calm down.

It can be difficult for many parents to tolerate the anxiety or frustration that they experience when their teen asks for space. However, your teen may actually use the time alone to cool off. Pushing your teen to talk may be pushing your teen further away.

To give yourself some guidance, you can ask yourself this question: “Am I trying to talk to my teen in order to address my own fear, anger, or anxiety, or am I responding appropriately to what my teen is telling me she needs right now through her words and her actions?“

2. An angry teen may be stuck in a cycle of resentment.  

Teens often fluctuate between emotions quickly. Your teen might feel guilty for saying something hurtful to you, and a split second later, switch gears to feeling dismissed or pressured by you, reacting again in anger.

What you can do is not let yourself get caught up in that cycle of anger, sympathy, resentment – and once again, anger.

Wait for your teen to be ready to talk constructively. You can sit with your teen while he is expressing his thoughts or feelings or give your teen space and resume the conversation at a better time.

Extra note: Although it’s important not to force a topic when a conversation is becoming an argument, don’t fail to come back to a topic for fear of upsetting your teen if it needs to be addressed. You can address it more respectfully when you both are ready to listen to and collaborate.

3. An angry teen may need to build confidence.

Surprised? I’ll explain.

Although angry teen behavior may come across as arrogant or selfish, it can often be a sign of low self-esteem or lack of confidence.

An angry teen may be feeling ignored, criticized or made out to be less-than, either by adults, peers, or by his own internal negative self-talk. Anything that might be perceived as criticism is getting piled on top of the negativity your teen is already feeling inside.

Your teen’s anger may be your teen communicating that he or she is at a point of negativity overwhelm.

You can take action now to help your teen build confidence by focusing your energy on understanding your teen’s perspective and then inviting him or her to discuss solutions. If your teen feels heard, it will become more possible to collaborate about potential solutions.

4. An angry teen may feel scared, helpless and/or alone.  

An angry teen may be feeling out of control or helpless in a situation (or in life in general).

Trying to navigate the process of becoming more independent can be frustrating for a teenager. This may leave her feeling helpless or powerless to create positive change in her life – especially when it is hard to identify a goal or solution to a problem.

This frustration or powerless feeling that is so common in teens can be isolating, especially if an angry teen makes a habit of lashing out at others and pushing them away. Expressing anger may provide a temporary feeling of power. However, that feeling is short-lived. This becomes a vicious cycle.

Depression often disguises itself as an anger management issue, especially for children and teenagers. If you think that your angry teen has created a negative mindset, may be isolating himself, or has any feelings of hopelessness, find a specializing therapist to help your angry teen.

If you are curious to know whether your teen may be depressed, you can download my free checklist here: 

Click Here: Free Checklist To Identify Teen Depression

In the future, notice the message beneath your teen’s anger rather than allowing the anger to control your own behavior, too. 

Download this article to reference it later as a reminder that you’re not alone and that there are ways to understand and to help your teen.


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