Anger and aggression in adolescence: how parents can manage it in 3 points

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Raising a teenager is not an easy thing. It is probably thereor bigger stumbling block for a parent to face. For the first time, in fact, we find ourselves having to manage the "Physiological" rebellion of one's own child: entering this delicate phase of life involves upheavals for all of us.

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Linked to the new perspectives due to the sudden transformation of the body and a progressive discovery of the world, many adolescents risk not being able to better manage changes. Thus, in some cases, anger and aggression may appear, directed mainly towards adults but also towards their peers. To understand how to best deal with these behaviors we turned to Sofia Bignamini, psychotherapist of the developmental age at the Minotauro social cooperative.

It is also a biological question

"There are various reasons that affect adolescents' inability to control their emotions", explains the psychotherapist: "when boys they vent their desires and instincts in anger that their 'new' body suggests to them and that they do not see fulfilled". According to Dr. Bignamini it is a real one biological trigger which puts a strain on the nerves of the boys, constantly stressed. Suffice it to say that the male sex hormone, testosterone (which in these years makes its appearance) naturally develops aggressive instincts: the important thing is not to be alarmed and help your children to channel these impulses in the right way.

The clash with authority

In the age of rebellion authority is embodied by parents. "During adolescence, boys begin the natural process of separation from mom and dad, who lose that idealized aura of super men and begin to seem fallible, if not even unable to understand," explains the psychotherapist. In this phase, even if we cannot speak of a generational clash as a few decades ago, parents begin to be openly contested, judged, and with the first "no" they can arrive disproportionate reactions of anger and that can sometimes lead to aggression. "The process of adolescent emancipation and identification is really a delicate moment: as parents you have to be careful to touch the right buttons maintaining balance»Remembers Dr. Bignamini. First you have to respect the need for privacy that emerges in boys without imposing an oppressive presence which can cause excessive reactions. “It can happen that in these cases the teenagers simply get angry about claim their spaces».

School and social confrontation

“Our kids, more than previous generations, are afflicted by one deep narcissistic fragility which is the fruit of the models proposed by society - explains the psychotherapist -.

When faced with the social stage, they carry a full of insecurities that makes them particularly touchy". For this reason, according to the doctor, they tend to experiencing both relational failures with difficulty, with the peer group (friends and classmates), than scholastic.

This frustration vents in a real "narcissistic rage". The school in this age becomes a real battlefield that can become a cause of conflict both with teachers and consequently with parents. "In these phases it is important to know how to evaluate well the reminders made by the teachers - explains Dr. Bignamini - siding with the teenager who says he is 'harassed' very often is the wrong choice". Finally choose to do change school to one's own child, although it is a possibility not to be excluded a priori, it must be the last option after trying to understand the real reasons for the adolescent's malaise.


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How to behave

  1. Wait and listen. The first piece of advice that Dr. Bignamini gives parents is to take time to understand your children's anger. “In these cases, the old adages of counting to a hundred before speaking apply. Impulsiveness is always a bad advisor as well silences can be very educational". Once the waters have calmed down, it is necessary to establish a frank dialogue with one's children "that clears the field of any possible preventive sentence". Listening is the watchword.
  2. Put pride aside. For the doctor, in the second instance, “Parents must learn to manage their pride. Suddenly there is a boy in the house always on a war footing, ready to judge everything negatively. In these cases, in order to avoid conflict, it is necessary to put aside the touchiness and try to examine the issues in depth ”. At least in the early stages, however, the "how" and "when" must be cards granted to the child who otherwise implements the withdrawal strategy, cutting ties with the parent. "You have to know how to respect a boundary and be patient, the best results are obtained when a sufficient margin is left between the emotion that triggered the anger and the parent's educational reaction ».
  3. Few but clear rules. As much as the willingness to understand the reactions of adolescents is equally important knowing how to guarantee a limit from an educational point of view. For the psychotherapist "we must not always come to terms, the rules must be few but clear and mandatory". Without, however, falling into the error of saying "no" dictated by one's own emotionality. "The teenagers are already at the mercy of theirs, there is no need to load them further."

Updated on 03.12.2022

  • teens
  • anger
  • aggression
  • bonding
  • teenage anger
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