My 17 year old brother has anger management problems and I don’t know how to help him. Our parents just keep saying he’s a “boy” but I think it’s a lot deeper than that. When he gets angry he throws things, breaks things, drives like a maniac, almost as though he doesn't care if he kills himself - or others who happen to be riding with him at the time. Do you have any suggestions?
My son used to have the same issues. Both me and my husband spent alot of time talking calmly to him about it, during relaxed times of day, like after dinner. We would ask him why he got so upset today and he would say something like he failed a test at school. Then we would calmly suggest positive ways he could deal with it, like going for a walk, staying in his room by himself, talking in private to a friend, going to a friend's house. We would remind him that driving dangerously can not only injure or kill him, it could do the same to others, and that would be awful since he has his whole life to look forward to, and the people love him would be devastated if that happened. Eventually these ideas sank in, thank goodness. But my son never broke things. People who find it satisfying to break things are a bit different, almost as if they NEED to break something to feel better. You can make an unconventional agreement with him about this: you will buy crappy glassware at yard sales and keep them outside where he can get to them. He will be allowed to break these, outside, and will be responsible for cleaning up the mess. I know people who do variations of this very thing: one lady I know will keep a pumpkin and a watermelon on hand, just so she can take them out, throw them, kick them, and even stab them with butcher knives. She finds this an acceptable outlet for anger, and so do I. Much better than hurting a person. I hope this was helpful. Blessings - Blu
Being a "boy" does not justify aggressive reactions. In fact, it seems that men often tend to externalize their "inacceptable" emotions (anxiety, depression, sadness, etc.) as aggressive behavior precisely because it is more acceptable, more "manly", to break things and drive recklessly than to admit your emotions. If you have a good connection with him, invite him out for coffee and ask him honestly and gently what is that bothers him. He seems to perceive himself stuck, cornered. He then reacts aggressively because he "believes" (there is not much thinking involved there, just impulsivity) that it is the only way to break free out of the situation in which he feels cornered. For how long has he being having this behavior? Or it is a mere continuation of previous aggressive behavior?
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