From a young age, girls are tend to emote more than their male peers. An article from Psychology Today tell us: “Females often have a larger hippocampus, our human memory center. Females also often have a higher density of neural connections into the hippocampus. As a result, girls and women tend to input or absorb more sensorial and emotive information than males do.”
We want our teenagers to be able to express all their emotions, but of course, there are some emotions that can be more challenging to mange than others. And while it is healthy to be able to express anger, there are times when your daughter’s anger may be getting in they way our your relationship or her mental health. Below are some ways to help your daughter manage her anger.
Create a Strong Sense of Self: The teen years are a time when your daughter feels torn between wanting to be her own person and feeling the pressure to conform and fit in with her peers. This constant push and pull can be exhausting for your daughter and cause her to lash our when she feels emotionally overwhelmed. A first teps towards a strong sense of self is helping your daughter identify her interests. Encourage her to be involved with activities that include those interests. The more connected she feels to her interests, the more comfortable she will be with herself. She will also be surrounded by people who are also interested in the same things she is. These connections make it more likely she will feel confident enough to stay connected to her sense of self. That strong sense of self relieves a bit of that pressure of trying to fit in.
Choose Your Battles: If if feels like your daughter fights you on every little thing, one important strategy is choosing your battles. Decide where in your day you need strict rules and decide where you can offer a little leniency. For example: on weekends, if you know that you would like to have a family dinner at 6pm, you can let your daughter choose when she’d like to eat breakfast and lunch. It seems like a simple thing, but teens can often feel like every moment of their lives are being micromanaged. These opportunities give them the feeling of independence and autonomy.
Practice Empathy: Being a teenager is hard. Hormones, school, peers, it can all feel too much for some girls. When your daughter starts to express her anger, instead of meeting her with your anger, try some empathy. Maybe you feel like she’s being irrational, but the act of acknowledging your daughter’s feelings, whatever they may be, can help diffuse her anger.
Set Healthy Boundaries: We talked about choosing your battles. And there are some rules that are in place to keep your daughter safe. These are the boundaries that need to be held. It is important for your daughter to understand that no matter how much she yells, or slams doors, these boundaries are not going to change. You can combine this with empathy. For example: “I can see that you’re feeling upset that you can’t stay out at late as your friends. That must be really frustrating. But our house rule is home by 10pm so we know that you are in bed and safe before we go to bed.”
Seek Support: While everything above can help you navigate your teen daughter’s anger, there are times when families need help. If your daughter’s anger seems overwhelming, she could be struggling with anger issues. Intense feelings of anger may trigger the body’s fight or flight response that lead to anger outbursts. Anger outbursts are a form of communicating one’s needs and once someone de-escalates, they may admit overwhelming feelings make them feel like they lose control of their anger. When children struggle with anger management issues and emotion regulation, their anger may be expressed through tantrums, verbal fights, or physical aggression, or internalized as self destructive behavior. If this is the case, a therapeutic boarding school can help.
Asheville Academy for Girls Helps with Anger Issues
Asheville Academy for Girls helps students with deal with anger outbursts learn how to identify root causes of anger and practice self regulation. Anger is a normal emotion and it is generally healthy to be able to express anger, but it can be associated with behavioral issues, aggression, or defiance if it is not well understood or controlled. Our treatment team works with students to learn how to recognize underlying issues that affect impulsive anger outbursts and to communicate their anger in healthy ways. To learn more about how Asheville Academy for Girls can help, please call (828) 475-8996.
Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy for Girls. She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.