• Dr. Laura Calnan

Teen Therapist Los Angeles: Tips on Handling Uncalled-For Aggression and Violent Behavior

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

It’s common for teens to feel as though parents don’t understand them. Part of being a teenager is developing an identity separate from parents and this is why miscommunication and fighting often begin.

During arguments, your teen may use disrespectful language or shout and while you shouldn’t encourage this, most teens will do this out of frustration. However, a teen therapist Los Angeles advises that violent or aggressive behavior is far more serious and gives tips on how to handle such behavior.


Walk away

If you tend to default to swearing, slamming doors and physical violence, you can’t expect a teen to behave any differently. When your teen becomes physically violent, don’t be afraid to walk away. Rationalizing and reasoning are unlikely to help in this situation.

Tell your teen you will continue the discussion later when tempers have calmed down. The only exception would be if your teen has shown any signs of suicide ideation or has access to a weapon. You don’t want your teen to self-harm or harm others, and in this case, you need to treat this as an emergency and call 911.


Set clear, strong boundaries

Teenagers will always push and push to see how far they can go. Make it absolutely clear that you will not tolerate violence in any form or directed at anyone. If there is an incidence of violence, there must be consequences. In a calm moment, impress on your teen that violence can be a criminal offense, even when the target is a sibling or parent and the teen is a minor.

Sometimes this knowledge is enough for your teen to try and find other ways of expressing anger. The way in which you set boundaries and enforce consequences can also make a difference – finding respectful ways to do this may not provoke your teen as much.


Teach anger management

There are many ways to manage anger without becoming physically violent. Teach your teen some ways to keep strong emotions under control, such as the time-honored practice of counting to ten before taking action or doing breathing exercises.

Don’t try to get your teen to do any of these things when emotions are high but to learn to practice them on a regular basis. Your teen needs to know that becoming angry about not being allowed to do something is not going to change your mind. Impress on your teen that it is better to schedule a time with you to sit down and talk calmly about the situation.


Get help from a teen therapist Los Angeles

Getting counseling help for your teen who is physically violent can make a difference in the current situation and the future. Dr. Laura Canlan (PsyD) is a teen therapist Los Angeles who regularly works with teens and can help them to understand what they’re going through in a new way. Remote video sessions are available and you can call 818.331.1131 or fill in a contact form on the website to arrange sessions.


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