What Are Some Strategies to Diffuse Anxiety That’s Showing as Anger?

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Our next questions, what are some strategies to help diffuse anxiety that's showing as anger, redirect the anger so that there's not a blow up? Um, well, first of all, um, we can expect that teenagers as they, as we look at it developmentally, we know that teenagers are more prone to episodes of, uh, an outburst. And that's part of their developing a hormonal body. We, we understand that as, as a foundation. Now, as parents, we may have forgotten that we might have been like that too, maybe, but they, end of the day, we understand that adolescents, they're going to have these emotional ups and downs and they're gonna have some out. Now if we're seeing it consistently or chronically, we're looking at a little bit something different, right? What in their life is triggering that kind of response? What's happening? So, the curious parent is, what we wanna be in a situation is we wanna ask questions inside of ourselves first. Like, what is my child experiencing? And the reason why this is so important is if we just don't, if we don't pull back, then we can cut, get caught up in this clash because we're older, we have more life experience, we believe that we should be able to say, Hey, you should do it this way. And they should do it that way. But we've gotta remember they are trying to form their own identity, and, and they're trying to get, they may be resistant to, to us. And their perception is, is you don't understand me. That's often what we hear from our children and our adolescents when we're in this fighting pattern. So really what we need to do is we need to step back and say, what's, what's going on here? Are there changes in their lives? Is there stress in their life? Is there something that's happening that I'm not aware of? And as we begin to start to see this, we're gonna see that at the top of any misbehavior is a root cause, a stress error. So if we just focus on the misbehavior, trying to not get them to do the outbursts and not be so angry, what we're missing is what's underneath it. The, the why of it, if we could say it that way. What's driving that? So as a parent, we wanna ask those questions before we go into that kind of a dialogue. As a curious parent, now we're saying, Hmm, it seems like recently now, if I was roleplaying, you, it seems recently something's been happening in your life, and I I, it feels like you've been more frustrated or upset with us as parents or me as a parent. Am I off? Am I off from, how am I doing with that? Am I, am I, am I wrong? Because the other day when X, y, Z happened, I noticed that you were just so upset at me and, and I, I guess I didn't understand. Could you help me understand? Because I want, here's the, here's the next part of this. I want to communicate effectively, and I want a better relationship with you. And recently it feels like we've been at odds. I need you to know that I love you and I care about you, and I'm concerned. And with this approach, what teenager would say, oh, forget you, mom. Forget you, dad, screw you. Yeah, they're probably not going to. The reason why is you've created an environment where it's easier to open up. You're a safe person. Remember earlier I said all human connection is built upon the principle of safety. Safety in our presence. If anything, uh, if you take away anything tonight, that should be the underlying principle. Safety is what equals human connection. Don't feel safe. Then I'm gonna go into fight or flight mode. If I feel ashamed or embarrassed, I'm gonna go into fight or flight mode. If we create an environment where our children feel safe, then they will open up and we can have a meaningful conversation about the anger that we've been observing. So my suggestion is to put it in that kind of a context so you can effectively communicate what you desire. And I assume you're here tonight 'cause you want a better relationship with your child. If you start with these strategies, I think you'll be more effective.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner