Having a son is great, right? You can play catch with them, teach them how to take apart a carburetor, and take them on fishing trips. What do you do when your son morphs into an angry teenager – the kind that slams doors and shouts ‘What-EV-er!’ Here are the main triggers of your son’s ‘teenage rage’ and how to handle them. This comes from Rodale Publishing.

  • He’s competing with you. It’s the ole battle of ‘the parent who sets rules’ versus ‘the son who feels suffocated by these rules.’ How should you handle this? Don’t let his anger trigger yours. Right now, your son feels powerless - he doesn’t want to be treated like a ‘baby.’ So talk to him in a way that shows you respect his feelings. Say something like ‘I can see you’re upset. How can we fix this?’ Not only are you validating your son’s feelings, but using the word ‘we’ shows you’re on his side. And remind your son that it’s not about winning an argument – it’s about listening to each other.
  • You won’t let your ‘little boy’ grow up. Teenagers need space and privacy. And your constant stream of questions may seem overbearing.  So lay off a little. This doesn’t mean you stop asking about your son’s whereabouts, but cut back on smaller questions – like ‘When did you buy that shirt?’ or ‘How much gel do you put in your hair?’
  • Their own brain! Studies show that teenage brains lack the ability to control strong emotions – which can cause moodiness. So understand that as your teen is growing up, so is their brain. And use your ‘grown-up’ brain to control your own anger and set an example. Because no matter how many doors they slam in your face, your son looks up to you. So if you control your anger, he’ll follow your lead.