Ok, I'm Angry! Now What?
"What are you looking at?" "What?"
Furrowed brow followed by an uncontrolled bellow of
expletives or worse! Flying debris, maybe, slamming
doors. Have you ever found yourself in the midst of
a potentially dangerous situation? Have you ever been
on the receiving end of a flying ashtray? Or have YOU
been violent or violently angry?
Anger has been increasing in recent years and violent
behavior has been on the rise. This past year, my home
city experienced a record number of murders and people
are asking "Why?" Good question but not one
with an easy answer.
Anger begins as an individual attitude or feeling and
it is compounded when a similar attitude or feeling
crosses its path. Anger needs to be dealt with on an
individual basis. The way to combat a rise in anger
and a rise in violence is to deal with individuals one
at a time. Clergy, parents, teachers, counselors and
psychologists need to begin teaching a combination of
things from a change in attitude to a change in diet
and exercise. It is all so very complicated but each
group has a function and each group has a responsibility
to society to teach and learn.
What I want to concentrate on is the exercise and attitude
adjustment. As a parent of a self professed angry 17
year old, I want to share with you what I believe is
my responsibility to my daughter and society at the
The 3 most important things, in my opinion when dealing
with anger in your teenager is:
1. Getting enough sleep
Staying up late and not getting sufficient rest is
not "cute" or "just a phase" it
is a serious issue and for a teen it can be the beginning
of trouble. Especially when society is teaching them
that caffeine(like these new "energy drinks")
can help you get through the day. No wonder kids start
using methamphetamines and other uppers in their teens.
Find a way for your teen to sleep normally. Night sleeping
(at least 8 hours) and day school is still the best
way to go. But with all of the tv shows and computer
chats and video games, it is almost impossible to get
your teens to sleep regularly.
2. Getting enough to eat
Now I'm not talking about snacks or macaroni and cheese.
I'm talking about vegetables and fruit and helping them
to control the intake of caffeine and sugar late in
3. Getting enough exercise
It is vitally important in this day and age to have
your teens moving so that at bedtime they are physically
tired. I know the later it gets the more wired my daughter
gets. I never see her go to bed anymore. I have to get
up for work at 4:30 am and my daughter is sometimes
just going to bed when I get up. And that's on a school
Now these things won't happen overnight, especially
when you haven't enforced them from the beginning. However
it needs to be done and in the coming issues I will
share with you what my daughter and I do to handle this
problem. This is not an exact science but a learning
and growing for both of us. You see, even though I've
been a teen before and she hasn't, I've never been the
father of a teen. So in a way we are both learning together
for the first time. I know we both love each other so
we will begin with that and move forward.
Alan Speaker Jr.