How do you deal with a angry 15 year old male?

Cassandra - posted on 10/21/2009 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My son has anger problems. Everytime I go to punish him eat gets so angry, he can not be dealt with. After awhile he relaxes and apoligizes but it takes about 4 hours. Any thoughts.

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Karen - posted on 11/20/2013

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Hi my son is 16 and I'm at the end of my tether with him, he gets so angry sometimes physical, my husband walks away now as if he didn't I could see a fight breaking out, I no People say it's just his age but it's affecting my whole house. We moved from the uk 2 years ago and the kids are settled at schools etc so I don't think it's that, he's always been the harder one out of my 4 children but now it's really hard, iv told the school and there tying to help but my house now is so sad all the time I'm sad !!!!!! ;-( Karen x

Lora - posted on 10/24/2009

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I have this problem as well, and I received an unexpected answer - my son was diagnosed with ADD. Prior to his outbursts of anger and agressiveness (which later lead to depression), he was a loving, fun, outgoing, and smart kid . After a year of trying to deal with his behavior with councellors (depression, failing grades, and emo type behavior - cutting himself), we had hadn't seen the progression that we'd hoped for and his family doctor start working with the counsellor testing him for anything that could be causing this.



He is on medication now and has shown drastic improvements in the last month and a half and the anger problems have subsided substantially. He is still in councelling and will continue to do so until he feels he can handle his problems on his own, but the medication is definately helping (with the depression as well as the anger). I had always throught that a child with ADD would be on ritalin but that isn't the case and there are so many other options out there now. I HATE the thought of my child on medication and I suggest multiple opinions before allowing any dr to diagnose a child with ADD or ADHD when we live in a world where so many are prone to jump on this diagnosis, but testing is never a bad idea. I had no idea that this could possibly be causing his behavior, nor had I ever suspected that he had this problem because of the lack of signs that normally come with ADD, but all the time and work that was put into this was worth it because my son is so much more loving and happy now. After seeing how severe his angrer and depression were and having him stand in front of me and tell me that he would rather die than live the life he was living, I HIGHLY STRESS THAT YOU HAVE YOUR CHILD TALK TO SOMEONE immediately. Anger is there for a reason and if you don't find that reason, it can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. I never in a million years thought I would be the parent holding my 14 year old in my arms begging him not to take his life, but I was. Don't put this off. Counselling is expensive, but there are so many places that can help you and it's worth it. You can't place a price on your child's life...and you can't just assume that it's a "phase." I thought that too until my son actually said those 4 terrifying words that changed my life forever...I want to die...that day my life changed forever.

Karen - posted on 10/25/2009

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Cassandra, I have read through all of the responses to your questions and I relate especially with the Moms with children who have ADHD and/or other mental health issues. There is a "phase" that most kids go through but our children are too precious to let it go on too long without improvement. Talk with your son when he is calm and things have been going well for the day. Ask him what things may be bothering him and if he doesn't feel comfortable talking with you about it, who would he feel comfortable talking with. Mentors and counselors at school are good choices, if you are a church going family, perhaps the pastor or the youth leaders. The most important thing is to listen to him and his actions. If this is becoming a long term ongoing problem, have him evaluated.



My son's anger began early on when he was still in elementary school and honestly before. He was diagnosised with ADHD when he was in kindergarten, he couldn't get along with his peers, wanted to alway run the show and would be angry when he wasn't allowed to be the boss. At the age of 10 he began to have suicidal thoughts. He was hospitalized twice in an 18 month period for these thoughts, depression and anger. Over this period other meds besides his ADHD meds were added, although it takes time to fine tune what works and what doesn't. Some ADHD meds excelerated his anger. But while this all sounds scary, things do get better. He has attended behavior focused classes and from 6th grade through now, 8th grade, a special school our district has for kids that don't function well in the normal school setting. He sees his therapist weekly through the school district and is now mainstreaming 3 hours per day and we are getting ready to add another hour since he is doing so well. He has learned ways of handling his anger that are constructive. He too will come back after he has calmed down after an outburst and apologize.



Sorry this is so lengthy but your question parallels with the life I have lived with my son. Good luck to you, listen with your heart and soul as our children are blessings. Don't hesitate to seek help from your son's school and/or seek professional help should this problem continue on.

[deleted account]

I have to agree completely with Lora Willmore!! I too have a son that has dealt with anger management issues and we had him evaluated. He was diagnosed ADHD with moderate anxiety disorders that manifest themselves as obssesive compulsive behaviors. Always feeling "different" from the other kids even though no one did anything to seperate him, he had a hard time not taking everything to heart.

I did agree to a trial of medications and I can't tell you how much it helped!! WIth the medications and weekly therapy sessions he has come far enough along, he no longer needs his meds for the anger control, but is still on meds for the ADHD. The ADHD symptoms can cause a child so much confusion and frustration that they just wind up having a "meltdown" sometimes. At least mine did and I know other who have and I've known others who did not have the anger issues. Sit him down when he's in a receptive mood and talk about what's happening and that you worry that his inability to handle his anger could lead to problems in school and with society as a whole and you don't want that for him. You want him to succeed at whatever it is that he decides to do with his life and that the medication and therapy can help him recognize his triggers (because, yes, it can be depression brought on by ADHD and/or anxieties) and gain control of his behaviors. It takes time, but if you are all motivated, it will work. Just continue with the love and hugs and patience. Talk with him whenever he is willing.

My own experience is that my son is a very sensitive, thoughtful child and had a hard time dealing with kids that were not thoughtful and didn't follow the rules (some of these kids have a very black and white view of things). I am going to bet your son is also a thoughtful and sensitive kid (especially since you said he does come back and apologize which is a VERY good sign that he would be helped by medication adn therapy) and there is something at the root of these angry outbursts. Does he have problems with academics? Is he intelligent enough but jsut can't seem to get the work done? Many of these kids with anger issues are of higher than average intelligence but are having trouble with the way they are expected to learn in the school systems.The school is probably your best place to start looking for help. The school counselors should have lots of info for you on where to start and what to expect and should even have an evaluation form that you can look at and perhaps fill out at home. I hope your school is a helpful one but I know that many may not be. If not, go online and search for child advocacy agencies that help with childrens rights in education. They can guide you as well.

I don't know if what I've written here is just repeating what you've already read, but I felt compelled to share with you. I have a wonderful, intelligent, kind, compassionate 16 (almost 17) year old boy that is excelling at school now and actually enjoying his life. Hang in there, he's worth it!!! It ain't easy, but it's worth it and so is he!! And be sure to tell him that regularly!!!!

And yeah, those hormones don't help matters any. :)

Angela - posted on 10/22/2009

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Just from my experience, it's just their phase. Part of being a teenager and part of his process of balancing his transition from teenager to young man. He is trying develop his own independence. He still needs to be punished when he has done something wrong but you need to explain to him that it is for his own good. He may not understand now but he will one day....then you need to walk away and breath. You can't take his anger towards you personally. Sometimes I find backing off and letting him find his own way best. The more you try to direct and give him your experienced advise, the more he will resist and fight back. Give him his space but still be the parent in charge. He will come around with time and age

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Doug - posted on 10/12/2014

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I am the father of a nearly 16 year old boy who is so angry he scares me. He is obsessed with sports and we've always watched games together. When he was younger he would cry and carry on about going to school the next day if his team lost. I thought it was just him being immature but the behavior has gotten much worse. Now he starts yelling and screaming awful things about wanting to kill people on the other teams, wishing death on people, how hed rather die than see his team lose, ect. ect. If you try to get him to calm down he goes berzerk and acts even worse. If I turn the game off he starts literally rolling on the floor and throwing things. He is 6'4 240 pounds and has my three daughters who are 13, 13 & 6 terrified of him and what he may do. I've tried punishing, reasoning, threatening, nothing is working. If I try to just miss the games he goes into depression and starts threatening suicide. He keeps promising hell stop but every other day he repests it all.I can't afford counseling, i am struggling to pay the bills and am at the end of my rope. Any advice would be appreciated.

Mary - posted on 08/18/2014

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Hi Karen.... If it helps for you to know I'm going through exactly the same.... It's so so hard! I have even called the police on my son to try and frighten him... But nothing seems to work! I'm a single mum with very little support! My daughter is lovely, placid and calm... I really don't know where I've gone wrong :( x

Bobbyfutschik - posted on 08/01/2012

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I have a son that is 15 years old that he thanks that no one loves him .And we are having a lot off probles with him .He has hurt his little brouther / And he has bypoler and adhd also . what can we do to help him out

Misty - posted on 08/03/2011

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Sounds like a child with an overblown sense of entitlement "your my mom and I'm your child so you should be willing to do everything for me and you shouldn't expect anything in return" also your the one he's safest with so he feels safe to let his anger out on you and know that it will still be ok. he can't do that with other people. My husband had these same issues, and when I began to ask him why he treated his family like dirt and figured they owed him something, didn't he care about how they felt or what they needed at all? Was it all about him? and he began to take a look at his behaviour and feel silly about it. My husband also had a big trial to go through at the age of 14 (a sensitive age, for sure) at the hands of one of his sisters, so he did have a sense of his family owing him something, and also his mother is a huge coddler, but when faced with it and confronted about his selfish uncaring behaviour and sense of entitlement, he quickly began to monitor his own actions.

Tina - posted on 10/26/2009

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Quoting Sally:

May i just say also... that peeps will try to say there an underlying problem..depression etc..which maybe so..but in some cases the child is just made that way and nothing can change that... i tried taking things away which kicked off more violence etc... The best thing that happend for me and my son ..having had a good home.. was him moving into his own place..he is a much better person but does still have his very angry moments if things dont go the way he wants them to



i appreciated your respnse, you basicly have handled this the same way i did and in my opinion there really is no other way. my son is a good kid that just wants his way most of the time but inside he is very careing and loves his family so that to me is what matters.

Shelly - posted on 10/26/2009

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I would trry to find out if he is having problems in school with a bully or other types of problem. It also my just be puberty stage bcause I have a fifteen year old male as well that gets angery sometimes too and he was having problems in school and also with his older brother. He goes outside and works on a project car for awhile and then he is fine.

Theresa - posted on 10/25/2009

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I am thinking that he needs that time to reflect on what happened. However his behavior isnt acceptable. He needs to know what is expected of him and what the result will be if he doesnt behave the way you expect.



Anger is a secondary response. What ever the situation is you need to take a look at what you are doing. Maybe you are punishing him and making him feel belittled, or something else. Often as parents we don't even realize how what we are saying/doing makes our kids feel. If they feel treated as a baby, their feelings are hurt, then comes anger.



Set the rules and stick to them. You arent here to be his friend, you are here to raise him to be a responsible adult. On the same token you need to respect him, love with unconditional love, and set the example.



On that note, they grow out of many of these silly things. Keep in mind that he is a boy and they are a lot different than us girls.

Lora - posted on 10/25/2009

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I am so happy, Kathy, to hear a positive outcome from all of this! My son has received his report card from this semester and for the first time in almost 2 years, his grades are averaging a "B." The meds are definately a help and the therapy puts him back on track when he starts getting unfocussed since they set goals each week and the therapist focuses the week on whatever is causing him to struggle that week. It definately takes the entire family to watch his behaviors / attitudes and a lot of communication between us (we are divorced so he is back and forth and it is sometimes difficult to see the progress and problems). It's worth it in the end and I thank God EVERY DAY that I sought out help when I did because my son is alive and getting better every day.

Stephanie - posted on 10/24/2009

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Oh my! 15 year old boys are experiencing a surge of testosterone. Could be he is acting out and does not know why himself. Just encourage him to talk to you, let him know that there are things changing in his body. This knowledge may let him know that he is normal and there is a reason why he is feeling the anger and it is okay. It could help.

Lora - posted on 10/24/2009

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Although antidepressants are very helpful along with therapy, please remember that ANY CHILD on antidepressants needs to be monitored CLOSELY. Suicide and suicidal thoughts can be a side effect of being on them and are especially prevalent if they are not taken on time each day. I was on lexapro and getting off it was difficult. Antidepressants CANNOT be stopped without the supervision of doctors to monitor your body's reaction and thought processes without the medication. My friend tried to take herself off them and almost killed herself so be extremely cautious when deciding if antidepressants are right for your child and monitor them closely while they are on them.

Jen - posted on 10/24/2009

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my son's therapist gave me a great book to read "The Explosive Child". I also agree with Tammy Homan. My son is bipolar and acts out with anger when he is depressed. somedays it is hard to know which is typical teenage behavior and which is caused by the illness.

Kristy - posted on 10/23/2009

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the doctor put mine on lexapro for about 6 months he is 19 now and doesn't anger so easy

[deleted account]

Bipolar. My 14 year old was the same way I got her help now she thanks me for helping her to finally be happy.

[deleted account]

I have somewhat the same problem.. He gets so angry he goes into a rage. He has been in a behavior center 4 or 5 times in the past year and half. In fact he just got out last week and I have already had to call them back and he is on a waiting list for long term. He needs to be seen by a counselor and possible psychiatrist. Anger is not a bad thing, its what they do when they are angry that needs to be dealt with

Kim - posted on 10/22/2009

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Have you sat down with him after he has calmed, and asked why he is so upset. It is so hard being a teenager these days, the pressure at schools are a lot worse, and the world is crazier.Also maybe a one on one time with him.We do a bible study that's focused on the 2 of us. I have 2 teenage sons with anger problems. We took the eldest to a christian counselor and I do a bible study with the other on the side and it worked great. But i have to be consistent. I also do alot of praying and asking for forgiveness alot. Hope this helps

Julie - posted on 10/22/2009

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I have a 15 neally 16 year old who doesn't listen either he is out all weekend and drinking at least he still likes to go to school every one keeps telling me it is a age thing and it will pass and their kids have gone through it but it still hurts he is also saying the f word in every conversation I don't know how to punish them we just need to reasure them we love them very much.

Jana - posted on 10/22/2009

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praise God he has a conscience! lol, not to make light of your situation, but this is normal. he's going thru changes. if he is being violent tho, you may need to get him into anger management or to see a doctor. anger is a normal emotion, dont try to snuff it out. help him learn to talk when he feels this way. there are too many parents that don't have the opportunity to get the appology, you are obviously a great mom for instilling in him that he knows whats right and whats wrong. besides, know that if your child gets angry with you then you are doing your job =)

Cassandra - posted on 10/21/2009

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he has not hit any thing other then his pillows, and not broken anything other then things that are his own but I think you might be on to something I do think there is something underneith this that is causeing he anger

Sally - posted on 10/21/2009

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May i just say also... that peeps will try to say there an underlying problem..depression etc..which maybe so..but in some cases the child is just made that way and nothing can change that... i tried taking things away which kicked off more violence etc... The best thing that happend for me and my son ..having had a good home.. was him moving into his own place..he is a much better person but does still have his very angry moments if things dont go the way he wants them to

Sally - posted on 10/21/2009

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I am a quailified mentor in behaviour support...and have gone through the years with my 18year old son who suffered with anger problems... it isnt an easy task... all the training in the world hasnt helped me to deal with his problems... the only advise i can give his..grit your teeth..be loving ..give them time and patience.... and plenty of will power... my son i kicked out at 16 and he doing very well but when he with me he always angry still today... if he doesnt get his own way or i dont drop what i am doing to run him around he flips out...i think sometimes there isnt anything we can do only support them when we can..deep down i think there are underlying problems which one day i hope he will sort out for himself.... the services out there dont always pick up on mental health problems cus like my son he is very intelligent and has managed to manipulate them too.. Good luck...remember patience and strength..x

Cindy - posted on 10/21/2009

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Why is he angry? Just because he got Punished? Or is something else bothering him?
I know My 15 year old son would get so mad at his little Brother-10
but he was Already angry about getting bugged at school
this year we switched his school It seems to help the Anger.......

Tammy - posted on 10/21/2009

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I would suggest that you take your son for an evaluation. He may need anger management or he may be depressed, which can present itself as anger. It is normal to a degree for teenagers to become depressed or even angry when all those hormones kick in, but if he is what you would consider too aggressive or disrespectful you need to get down to the underlying cause, it could be any number of things, he may be having trouble at school, being a teenager is tough. You do need to set clear boundaries on what is acceptable in your home and what is not. If he insist on acting this way you need to take corrective steps now (grounding from cell phone, Play station, XBOX, whatever, at 15 there is the wanting to drive issue so you can take that as well), which will probably make him more angry, but he will understand who is in charge and start refraining from acting this way, but be sure to reward him when he does start containing himself. Also if he breaks something out of anger make him fix it or pay for it through cash or chores. If he hits it is definitely time to have him evaluated. Hope this helps.

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