Why Is My Teenager Angry
By Linda C Dipman
"Caleb it's time to take out the trash." The fight following that simple request was like a tornado ramming into the
house and taking off the roof. Screams erupted and before I could back out of his room we were in a shouting match
over a chore that would have taken less than two minutes if he had just paused his game long enough to get it done.
I could feel my anger over his attitude elevating my blood pressure and forcing me to stand my ground over the
principle of being respected as his parent. Before long I felt I had no choice but to threaten to remove his Xbox from
his room if he didn't do what I told him. In rebellion Caleb rammed his fist through the bedroom wall in defiance while
running down the stairs to take out the small bag of trash.
I could feel tears welling up in my eyes at yet another explosion. What happened to my sweet little boy who would
run to help me put away the dishes? Ever since he turned thirteen every time I asked him to pick up his room or
brush his teeth it was like World War III!
Most parents do not understand that a very important spiritual law enters into the life of teenagers at the age of
twelve for girls and thirteen for boys. This is the age of accountability. This means that when your children turn into
teenagers they don't only have to adjust to their changing bodies, but they also must begin the lessons of discerning
the differences between right and wrong.
When Adam and Eve ate the apple they ended the perfection of God's once perfect earth and turned our world
into a battlefield between good and bad. This is when Satan entered into the world and became the voice of evil.
Genesis 3:7a, "As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding."
Understanding can only be achieved by being presented with opposites. Gaining this wisdom can only be
realized when people have freewill to decide for themselves what they are going to do.
In the story of Cain and Abel, we see that Cain chose to kill his brother out of jealousy. Before the death of his
brother God came to Cain and told him, he was wrong.
Genesis 4: 7, "If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is
crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it."
The first thing that all teenagers struggle with is their emotions. They feel deeply about everything. Cain let his
emotions take over his ability to control his feelings and he killed Abel.
I realize this is an extreme example of bad behavior, but it also reveals the beginning of God's plan to take the
imperfection of the world and use it to teach people. Read Genesis 4: 8-15 and you will see that God gave out a
punishment fitting the crime that Cain committed. It is an example to all people what will happen when you allow your
emotions to take over your ability to reasonably react to a problem in life.
Cain and Abel's story teaches everyone that if you choose wrong then your life will get harder. It explains how
important it is to have self-control in a world where one wrong decision can change the entire course of your life.
This is the reason why it is so important for parents to teach their children about God principles. When we have
God on our side then we know the difference between right and wrong. The Bible is our guidebook, it gives
hundreds of stories and examples of how our emotions can lead us to murder, commit adultery, steal, drink in
excess, and carouse with the wrong people.
Knowing God's laws are important, but there is something else that is even more important. Our world is
surrounded by an unseen spiritual world that interacts with this world. Demon spirits have the ability to influence our
thinking and manipulate us into doing Satan's will.
Ephesians 6: 10-12, "Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put
on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. For we are not
fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities,
and cosmic powers of this dark age."
Paul's solution to this problem is by emphatically telling us in Ephesians 6:18, that our only recourse against evil
is consistence in prayer. As parents we must teach our children to pray and we must pray for them!
Jesus' gave a simple prayer to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Read Matthew 6:
9-13, and pay attention to the last part of the Lord's Prayer!
Matthew 6: 13, "Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One."
When you are part of a teaching world then you will be tested. Teenagers will be tested by their emotions with
their families, friends and schools. Parents will be tested on how they react to their teenagers. The only way to be
patient, when we are faced with the turbulence surrounding the lives of teenagers, is by being aware of how our
Ephesians 6: 4, "Parents, do not treat your children in such a way as to make them angry. Instead, raise them
with Christian discipline and instruction."
It is very important for parents to act in maturity. We must not give into anger and use words that are judgmental
and condescending. We must listen to what they are saying and work with them. At the same time be consistent
with chores and requirements. Always be encouraging because as parents we understand what our children are
going through because we were once teenagers just like them. Draw upon those memories and you will be the
parent they need in their lives.
Explosions from teenagers are rarely about how a parent is treating them. It is an accumulation of everything
they are facing in their lives. You are their sounding board and unfortunately you are also the one they express
their frustration with.
To be a good parent is to not hold everything your child has done wrong against them. Talk to them when they
are reasonable and always with confirmation that you will always love them no matter what.
Our world is filled with teenage runaways because parents were unable to reach compromises with their children.
Many teenagers have even been put out of their houses because their parents don't know how to get through to
Christians should react differently to their teenagers, from how the people who don't have God in their lives
respond. They should love always and be patient most of all because they remember what it was like to be their age.
Caleb sat in his room waiting for my reaction to his newest hole. I walked into the room and told him I loved him. I
explained when I handed him the plaster, that it was his responsibility to fix his mess. Caleb nodded his head in
agreement and apologized for his explosion.
After a few minutes of talking he explained how he was having difficulties in one of his classes at school. Quickly
the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to why he had over reacted to the trash. It was never about the chore it was about
his frustration at school.
Quietly, I told him to get his book and together we would figure it out. Relief spread over his face and suddenly
what had once been an uncomfortable nightmare of explosive emotions turned into a bonding time bringing us closer
together. By the time evening arrived we had conquered the problem and once again I had my loving boy back.