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My daughter is 14. She is usually very good and not hard to cope with, but sometimes she gets very angry.

For example, when I take away her phone, or her sisters use her belongings, or she can't do her homework, or play the right notes on her piano song, she will get mad -- throwing things, shouting, crying, trying to break everything.

This happens every time she gets upset. She seems too old to be doing this. When she goes in these moods, how do I manage her and get her to calm down? Will she grow out of this?

  • I'm just curious, how do you handle her when she gets upset like she does? How do you react currently? I'm just asking so I can get a better picture of what's going on. Thanks. – Dejah Roman Feb 23 '16 at 22:59
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    On the other hand, some people would be pleased to have kids who get upset when they can't do their homework or play the piano. ;-) – RedSonja Feb 24 '16 at 7:15
  • For what it's worth, she's not in control of this. It's not a psychological issue, it's physiological. By all means, set boundaries but don't assume that she's doing it out of spite. – Dave M Feb 24 '16 at 10:41
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    @DaveM Why do you assume people are "in control" of psychological issues? How do you know it's not psychological? – user19912 Feb 24 '16 at 11:58
  • Sorry, I should have clarified that. There's always the chance that there is a psychological issue, that's true. However the "standard" irrational behaviour of puberty is tied to the release of heady mixture of hormones that trigger puberty. There was an article in the Independent a week or so ago: independent.co.uk/news/science/… .. and I remember seeing a lecture by Dr Robert Winston that basically said the same thing, although I can't source it now. – Dave M Feb 24 '16 at 13:26
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Okay, I'm just gonna tell you what I did...after failing miserably with my teenage boys (who btw. behaved the same way at the same age). So when my 14-year-old baby girl started to show signs of behaving the same way, here is what I didn't do:

  • I did not yell, fight or make empty threats at her.
  • I did not offer rewards for her poor behavior to stop.
  • I did not pretend it was okay, acceptable or normal.

Here is what I did do:

  • I observed, listened and learned:

    • What are her trigger points?
    • What sets her off?
    • What situations escalate this behavior?
    • What is she eating?
    • How much sleep is she getting (and I mean RM sleep, not just laying there awake and pretending to be asleep)
    • How much stimulation is she getting (e. g. friend/school/social media drama/technology/screen time)?
    • Who else is this affecting?

I realized that my daughter's anger and temper tantrums were due to a too unbalanced diet, social media over stimulation (which caused a lack of sleep) and a lack of constancy on my part. I also learned that if I watched her I could tell when she was about to "blow up" and step in before it happened. I know this sounds kind of silly...but you would do the same with a toddler right? It's just a modification.

The key is to head it off before it happens and make some environmental changes without directly stressing her (and you) out. Make a few meal changes, maybe cut out some grocery treats, cut back on TV/Screen time aka computer time. Take control of the social media intake (we had her choose one social media outlet, she went with Facebook, and that's it). We stopped letting her sleep until noon on weekends. Get her up, make sure she's tired at bed time...even on weekends.

It takes time. It's not an over night turn around but I'll tell you this, my daughter is so much nicer to be around now. She has become a kind, rational young lady that we can now set down and have conversations with instead of yelling, crying fights. This is an imperative lesson your child needs from you. Controlling our emotions and environment is key to living a happy, full life.

I hope this helps a bit. As I said, this is what we did, maybe it's not for everyone. But my boys are still struggling as adults and I wish I had known more then...don't we all.

Best of luck.

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    You must be some kind of saint. Well done. – RedSonja Feb 24 '16 at 7:14
  • "We stopped letting her sleep till noon on weekends. Get her up, make sure she's tired at bed time...even on weekends." This can only cause things to become worse. "cut back on TV/Screen time aka computer time" This as well. – stommestack Feb 24 '16 at 13:15
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    lol...I never said it was easy. It's not like we get her up at 6am. But as time progressed she was too tired to stay up late and started just waking up by 10am on her own. We have late nights too, it's not a boot camp here. There are always rough days/weeks. She still has the usual complaints and fits here and there but they are so much less dramatic...there is no more yelling, door slamming and foul language at least. Now, instead of getting upset right away we set down and talk if she want's something to change. It's just nicer and a good lesson in how to communicate wo drama. – Dejah Roman Feb 24 '16 at 13:53
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    I would also like to add that if you're using technology/screen time to "sooth your child"....you're doing them no service. They will get plenty of it when they get their own tv, computer etc. I see these kids who are stuck to a screen all the time and they do not socialize well, tend to be constantly over stimulated, edgy and generally unhappy. Maybe not every kid, but the majority...besides, these things are a privilege, not a right. We as parents work hard to provide them we do not deserve to have it turned against us. Just my opinion. To each his own. – Dejah Roman Feb 24 '16 at 13:57

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