Our emotions are triggered by our thoughts and beliefs. If you are angry at your teen, it’s because you‘re judging their situation.

Where Does Anger Come From?

Anger is an emotion, and our emotions are the result of our thoughts. So, if you are feeling angry, it’s because of the way that you are thinking about something. 

I’ve found that when I get angry, it’s usually because I am arguing with reality. Something is happening one way, and I’m thinking that it should be happening another way. 

Here’s a few examples:

  • Your teenager is picking on their younger siblings, and you think, “He should know better.” 
    • Life is happening one way, and your thinking it should happen another way. 
  • Your teenager comes home with C’s and D’s on his report card and you think, “He could do so much better.”  
    • Again, life’s happening differently than you judge that it should. 
  • You ask your teen to help with dinner, and they say “No.” You think, “How did she get so disobedient? She should obey better.”
    • Again, we are comparing her actual behavior to our idea of how she should behave.

What’s Wrong with Anger?

Nothing is necessarily wrong with anger. It’s an emotion. It’s natural. It’s something that we will all experience. 

Really, there is nothing wrong with anger. 

The problem is how we act as a result of our anger. When we are angry, we are more likely to yell, be unreasonable, and act in ways that aren’t in line with our intentional relationship. 

So, when it comes to anger, we need to ask ourselves a few questions:

  1. Why am I feeling angry? What is my judgment? 
  2. What actions is my anger fueling? 
  3. Am I okay with the results that my anger driven actions are getting me?

It might look something like this:

You are angry because your teenager broke your cell phone rule and texted friends all through the night.

  1. Why am I feeling angry? What is my judgment? 
    • I’m angry because I think he should have turned his phone in. I’m judging that “He knows better. 
  2. What actions is my anger fueling? 
    • My anger is fueling the action of yelling and lecturing him. 
  3. Am I okay with the results that my anger driven actions are getting me?
    • Because I’m yelling at him, I’m even more angry and we are arguing. I don’t like these results from my anger driven action of yelling.

So, What Do I Do About My Anger?

For now, just work on increasing your awareness. When you find yourself feeling anger, ask yourself the above questions. 

Start understanding the thoughts that are triggering your anger.

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