One of the parenting topics recently discussed on the parenting blog of the Washington Post is that of teenage anger; about how parents so often find that their teen is just so angry all the time. The constant anger, offensive behavior can be difficult for a parent, who may rightly wonder if their child needs therapy!
Advice for the angry teen’s parent
According to Family Almanac columnist Marguerite Kelly, one of the first things that the parents should check out is the child’s physical health: there could be health reasons why the child is behaving differently. A complete physical work-up should be the first step to find out if any hormonal or other disorders are present.
High levels of cortisol can make a person behave very unusually and could have a particularly marked impact on a growing individual.
Similarly if a child has low thyroid, this could make her depressed and cause her to feel out of sorts.
Even the process of puberty can causesignificant hormonal changes that cause many teenage girls between 13 and 15 years of age to have tantrums.
If there is no physical cause or reason for the child to be acting out, parents can consider counseling.
However family therapy is advisable so that the therapist meets the whole family together and also has a few sessions alone with just the child and just the parents.
How the books of Brad Sachs could help
Dr Brad Sachs is a psychologist who specializes in teen counseling. He has written books such as The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied; When No One Understands: Letters to a Teenager on Life, Loss, and the Hard Road to Adulthood; Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult toward Success and Self-Reliance; and The Good Enough Teen: Raising Adolescents with Love and Acceptance (Despite How Impossible They Can Be) among many others.
It is recommended that reading books such as these above can help a teen feel less threatened and can help her prepare better for the counseling.
There could be real issues your teen could be facing that may cause her or him to act out consistently. It is best not to ignore this – not only do you risk letting the situation get out of hand, you also risk a permanent deterioration of your relationship with your teen. Your teen’s anger may be a veiled cry for help, which should not be ignored.