“How do I stop being so angry at my teenager?”

Hi, thanks for joining me on your lunch break for Tips on Teens, where I answer your parenting
questions every Wednesday at noon. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family
therapist, and I'm the founder and clinical director of Teen Therapy Center, and also Child
and Teen Counseling, which is a non -profit here in Woodland Hills, California, where we help
kids and teens and families live happier lives. So we're gonna jump right into today's question,
and here we go. How do I stop being so angry at my teenager? We argue all the time and I resent his
disrespect. I see other families and I wish we had what they do. I'm tired of being angry all the
time. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this question. It's obviously a question that comes
from concern and pain and you're looking for help and support. We'd like to offer that to you.
I think a lot of families will relate to this. I see this a lot in my practice And there becomes
this pattern, right? This anger and disrespect.

You know, he's disrespectful, you're angry. And just this loop. And there's a lot of reasons
why you can be angry at your kid. And there's this quote that I was reminded of recently by Benjamin
Franklin. And the quote is, anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. And how
I would apply it to this situation is, when we react in anger towards our kids, it generally doesn't
go well. Very rarely do Do we react out of anger and feel like we did a good job, we feel good about
ourselves, our kids learned something? It just digs a deeper hole. So the important thing is
for you to be taking care of you. Make sure that you are doing your own self -care, whether that's
more yoga in your life, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, finding your balance, so you
are calm to deal with his disrespect because he's 14 or 17, however old he is, and he does not have
a fully developed adult brain. You do. One of you has to be the calm, clear -headed, compassionate
adult in the room and your

teenager's not qualified. It's got to be you. You've got to be the emotional leader and that's
a tough burden to carry for anyone because he's going to push all your buttons. He's going to
pull all your heartstrings to pull you into that anger, that cycle you're in because it's familiar
and that's maybe how you guys are connecting right now and maybe that there's not a lot of other
ways you guys are connecting and you're connecting through this anger, which is not a healthy
way to go, but it's better than nothing. Usually when people have no connection, they drift
apart, and your kid's not ready to drift apart from you, and you're probably not ready to drift
apart from your teenager. So you guys may be unconsciously relying on this anger disrespect
thing, and it just doesn't feel good. So one of you has to break the pattern. My hunch is your teenager
is not qualified to do this. You may have to do So, in addition to the self -care, when he is disrespectful,
if you can stay calm, you can

acknowledge the disrespect, but communicate to him how you want him to communicate to you.
You know, and this is the process. It's not gonna be a light -switch thing. You're not gonna do
this one time and it's done. This is many, many conversations you guys are gonna have. Also,
when you lose your cool, and you will, because you're human and you're a parent and we all do,
when you do, demonstrate a proper apology. Demonstrate your compassion and your love is more
powerful than your anger. And I talk to parents all the time say, but wait if I apologize I'm condoning
his behavior and you are not. Apologizing for your behavior is different than condoning his
behavior. He could be acting really inappropriately. If you act inappropriately that doesn't
justify what you're doing. You can still say, hey you know what? Last night I lost my cool. I totally
blew it and I said some things I shouldn't have said and I want to take ownership of that, and I
apologize. Period. You don't say, but you did

this, this, this. That is not an apology. It's just an acknowledgement of how you handle things.
You're planting the seed so he can start recognizing how to give a proper apology because it's
a skill that we all need to learn because we all mess up. We all, people who are closest to us, we
will hurt them unintentionally and maybe without cause, or you know, they may not, we may not
feel that we did something, but that person may feel hurt. And if we can say, you know what? I see
that you're hurt, and I'm gonna take ownership of that, and I apologize. That helps the other
person start healing. And it's not that that person won and you lost. You've got to throw that
paradigm out the window. It's not about winning and losing. It's about building the bridge.
If you're trying to win, everyone's gonna lose. You cannot win these arguments. So again, find
ways to build that connection, that compassion. If you're really struggling, and a lot of people
do. Find a therapist who works with kids and

families to help you bridge this gap. It's something that I do and my team, we do this all the time.
But there's plenty of therapists in the city, in Los Angeles, who can help you with this. But
you can always give us a call here at Teen Therapy Center and, you know, don't let this go because
it just festers. It doesn't get better on its own. It gets better because you put quality effort
in this situation. Anyways, that's our question for today. Keep your questions coming. You
can email us your questions at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com or direct message us
right here on Facebook. We love hearing them. Again, my name is Kenton Toussaint, licensed
marriage and family therapist here in Teen Therapy Center. And I'll see you next Wednesday
at noon right here on Facebook. Bye bye.

I’m willing to bet that if you’re a parent you have been angry at your child at one point or another. What if you’re angry with your child nearly all the time? What can you do to get a break from the stress of harboring that anger or resentment? This week’s #TipsOnTeens comes from a parent who is in this very situation. What advice would you give her? Here’s the question:

“How do I stop being so angry at my teenager? We argue all the time and I resent his disrespect. I see other families and I wish we had what they do. I’m tired of being angry all the time. Thank you.”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.