Tips on Teaching Anger Management to Teens

Teaching anger management techniques to teens is vitally important for the long-term well-being of the young person as well as for the safety of schools and the community, report educators at the Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida. Lack of impulse control and the inability to manage anger are directly correlated with antisocial behavior and can lead to violence.

Control

Eliminating anger is impossible, but teens can learn how to control their behavior following a burst of anger. Techniques include talking about their feelings, breathing and waiting. Instead of burying what they think is a bad feeling, teens should be encouraged to talk about it with a counselor or other adult who listens well without judgment. Breathing techniques can help to slow the physical response to anger. Teens can learn how to avoid problems by making it a habit to wait 24 hours, or at least to count to 10, before they respond to an anger-provoking situation.

Personal Triggers

The triggers for anger are unique for each individual. Teens should be taught to become aware of their own triggers so they can avoid them or prepare for their explosive effect. Through talking, writing and paying attention to their own emotional and physical responses, teens can learn to identify the cues that usually set them off. When they are aware that it’s coming, they can more effectively control their anger, leave the situation or think of constructive ways to deal with the person or situation that makes them angry. Educators should help teens understand their emotions and how to label them.

Physical Responses

Teens can be taught how to recognize anger when it hits by learning the physical signs often associated with the powerful emotion, reports Children’s Hospital Boston. By detecting the signs, they can understand what’s going on and take corrective measures. Physical signs of anger include increased heart rate and fast breathing, tight muscles and a rise in body temperature that often makes them blush. Additionally, teens should be taught the physical consequences of not controlling their anger. The physical stress put on the body when it is in anger mode can lead to heart disease, stomach problems, lower back pain and high blood pressure.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist who’s spent more than 20 years doing in-depth research and reporting on trends in health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” “Verve,” and “American City Business Journals.” In addition to sports and alternative therapies, Ray has extensive experience covering banking, commercial development and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.