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Self Control

Does Your Teen Need Help with Self-Control?

March 6, 2018     By Boys Town Contributor

Coping Skills for Teens, Kids and Teens in Crisis, Self-Calming Tools, Today's Family, Understanding Behavior

When your teenager loses their temper or explodes in anger, it might seem like a real-life invasion of the body snatchers. Don't worry; your child is still in there! Instead of allowing these situations to escalate, use them as opportunities to teach your teen self-control. This short video offers six steps for teaching your teen to self-calm:


With this six-step method, you can work on building a positive relationship with your teen and both remain calm in emotional situations.

Describe the problem. Teens usually respond best to clear, honest statements. If your teen becomes brash or explosive, tell them, but do so in a polite, respectful way. Building a bridge of mutual respect is key when attempting to calm down teens.

Give clear instructions. When telling your teen to calm down, use clear instructions to make your message easy to understand. The more upset your teen is, the less likely they will be to respond to complex or complicated instructions.

Remain calm yourself. This is the most important step. Staying calm yourself is the most effective way to help calm your teen down. Relax, and let your child have some time alone to cool off; then reconvene to discuss the episode later.

Describe what your teen could do differently. Once everyone has calmed down, discuss what happened and how the situation could have been handled in a more positive way. Describe what your teen could have done that would result in less arguing or yelling.

Give a consequence. Giving appropriate consequences helps teens understand the impact of their decisions. Assign chores, take away their smartphone, video games, and electronics. Consequences will help your teen think before they act so they don't lose privileges.

Practice through role play. Try switching roles and let your teen see what it's like to be the parent. This will help teach them how their actions affect other people and how they can better handle situations that upset them. If your teen responds appropriately the next time they're upset, praise them.

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