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Angry Teenagers  

One simple, but powerful tool for parents.

Due to all the physical and emotional changes that our teenagers are subjected to during their journey to adulthood, the emotion of anger is very real and typical (Please see my previous article “Inside the Mind of a Teenager” for more information).


Managing anger can be truly challenging and the ability to diffuse emotionally loaded situations is one of the pivotal aspects of a successful relationship with your teenager.

But first, as parents, we need to ensure that our own anger is under control. We need to recognise our own negative behavioural patterns and put mechanisms in place so that we do not step over that irreversible threshold, where we damage the relationship with our words and actions.


Once we have come to terms with our own anger, our next step is to listen to the “anatomy” of our teenager’s anger. We need to hear exactly what is happening to them and we need to understand their justification for their angry behaviour. In other words, we need to acknowledge their anger.


As with recognising our own anger issues as parents, this is equally challenging, because it is often very difficult to put our own feelings and perceptions aside. More often than not, when we get angry with our teenagers, it’s because we love them and we want to protect them (even if it means protecting them from themselves).

Sometimes, during these conversations, we need to listen to what is NOT said and read between the lines, in order to get a better understanding of the crux of the matter.


Listening intently and intensely means that we are only listening to what they are saying and not focusing on what we are thinking and feeling, simply because it gets in the way of meeting them where they are at. Once we have heard them, we need to check if our understanding of their anger is what they meant to say and that we are on the same page. Once a teenager realises that a parent is really listening intently and cares about their feelings, it changes the dynamics of the relationship and creates a healthy basis for the way forward.


Rome wasn’t built in a day and delicate relationships take time and patience to cherish. Start with this simple tool today and watch your relationship with your teenager grow and improve!

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I would love to hear from you.


Annecke Redelinghuys

Advocate for Teenagers

BA Psychology; Dip. HED, Dip. Counselling, Dip.Life Coaching

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