Need help now?

My 17yr old has some anger issues

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

My 17yr old has some anger issues

Frequent scribe

My 17yr old has some anger issues

Hi. I have stumbled on this website and hoping to find through this unpredictable and embarrassing mess. My 17yr old has some anger issues and is lashing out verbally at the whole family except her father who doesn’t live here and has had little to do with her until recent times.
Today was the worst day yet with my daughter punching a photo frame and smashing glass into her hand while I was at work. I called to check in after a blow up yesterday and then having her stay at a friends place o’nite. She was in tears and said she had a meltdown bi called my mum who went over to sit with her and help as best she could.
I don’t know what to do but have booked another Dr appointment to ask for more help.
Hee anger and lashing out is straining the whole family.

Active scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hi sorry to hear this, it must be scary and very worrying to see your daughter behave in such a way. Firstly remember that anger can come from emotional pain. What’s going on in your daughters life, what has changed in her world? How are you reacting to this behaviour? What are your expectations? Is there something she’s not getting from you or possibly her father, and what’s school like and are there any other external influences? Is there a-lot of stress in the house that your daughter may be picking up on? How long has your daughter been behaving like this? Does your daughter have a nice group of friends? When is the last time you shared a funny moment?
These are just some questions off the top of my head, hopefully they help you in some way. Feel free to reach out if you need. Not sure if we can disclose personal details on here or if there’s a way to connect? …
I’m happy to share more and help you work through this coming from a mum of 2 daughters that genuinely cares.
Frequent scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Thank you for reaching out. It is scary. I never quite know which mood I’m going to be dealing with and I don’t want to lose her.
I don’t like her current couple of friends. One family has a complex background of domestic violence (and have left the situation) and they swear lots, skip school etc. I don’t see them as being a good influence including that the mother openly criticises me and undermines me to my daughter. The other friend is in their early 20s and lost their way in drugs and alcohol a few years ago. Although they claim to be back on track I think there is a negative undertone to their views on things. She was at this friends house last night before they had an argument and the other friends mother picked my daughter up so she could stay there the night without anyone notifying me.
I think there is some emotional stuff going on around her father - confusion and him working through the failings of our marriage with her repeatedly. I think there is also jealousy about how much he does with and for his current family.
Prolific scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @Worriedmun , I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through with your daughter right now. It's sounds as though she is really struggling, and that her behaviour is having an impact on you, your partner and the rest of your family.

I can certainly understand how having a renewed relationship with her father could be leading to some heavy emotions for your daughter - it can be very difficult to see your parent showing up for others in a way that perhaps they didn't show up for you, and trying to reconcile why that might be happening. You mentioned that your daughter didn't have a lot to do with her father until recently, did anything in particular prompt this change in their relationship?

You also mentioned in your initial post that you're planning on going to the doctor to ask for some more help. Is your daughter currently in contact with her GP or a psychologist? It sounds as though she might benefit from some extra support to work through her anger and any other emotions that might be coming up for her right now.

I'm also curious as to how you're doing. It sounds as though you're trying to support your daughter to the best of your ability, but that this has been a tough time for both of you. Do you have anyone in your life that you feel comfortable talking to about what's going on with your daughter? You mentioned that your partner often retreats to his own place when things get tough, which must feel a little isolating at times. If you feel as though you need some extra guidance or support at the moment, we offer a one-on-one coaching service for parents of teens aged 12-18 that are going through a tough time which you're more than welcome to make use of. 

Frequent scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hi Portia_RO,
Thank you for your message.

My daughter has seen the GP before and has been given medication that we have already had to change once. She has a mental health plan but wasn’t wanting to talk to anyone other than the school counsellor. She finishes school at the end of last year and so now I’ve had to gently insist that she needs to talk to someone else.

My parents are trying to help but I feel that I can’t really let go of my feelings completely. I’ve been ‘swallowing’ a lot of it. My partner just rants at me and isn’t really being supportive at all. He doesn’t even want to be near her at the moment - I partially understand but it’s making things hard for me.

Tonight my daughter and I clashed about finding ways to start working on her anger and the way she speaks and keeps deflecting attempts to make helpful suggestions. I ended up just letting so and crying so hard telling her that I’m scared and worried and I want to help but don’t really know the answers. I told her how much she means to me and that her anger is hurting everyone and may cost me my relationship too, which is what it is because she will always be my daughter.

She listened and then started to support me. I felt embarrassed and disappointed that I couldn’t keep myself together. I apologised too.
I think seeing my raw emotions spoke to her differently and hopefully this will end up being a positive step. I guess time will tell.

I’ll have a look into the program. Right now I feel so overwhelmed with pretty much every aspect of my life. I also feel a little isolated too.

Thank you.
Prolific scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hey @Worriedmun 

Thank you for sharing more about your situation with us, we are really glad that you have found us and have been able to reach out for some support.

I’m sorry to hear that you and your family have been going through such a tough time recently. I can hear how much your daughter means to you and how hard you have been trying to help her – she is very lucky to have you in her life.

It sounds like you have been taking really great steps and have been trying really hard to support her by trying to engage more professional support along with having your parents involved to support you and their granddaughter.

I know you mentioned that you felt embarrassed and disappointed that you couldn’t keep yourself together and I want to remind you that you are only human, and you have been under considerable stress, so it is very understandable that this happened. It just shows how much she means to you and how much you want to help her, and it sounds like you have been doing such a great job and have been doing everything you can to navigate through this tough time.

I’m sorry to hear that your partner hasn’t been very supportive to you or your daughter, I can imagine how difficult that must be for you to not have that support. It is good to know that you have your parents and that you will look into the coaching service for more support. I want to remind you that your wellbeing is just as important, and you also deserve all the support available to you as although you are doing such a great job, you don’t have to do this alone and support is available for you too.

Have you been able to talk to your daughter about why she doesn’t want to talk to anyone else and only wanted to talk to the school counsellor? Or do you think speaking to her about this might be helpful for you to understand and might help with finding more appropriate support for her.  

I also wanted to check in and see how you're feeling today after your conversation with your daughter last night?

Remember that we are all here to listen and support you through this and that you don’t have to do this alone.

Frequent scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

I have trouble getting much out of our conversations. I don’t even think she tells me the whole story most of the time and sometimes I think she just tells me what she thinks I want to hear just so I’ll stop asking.

I’m not doing great. Lots of pressure from every direction. Nothing seems to be going well and I’m constantly trying not to cry or look too upset by what’s happening around me.

The individual sessions that were mentioned look to be during the hours I am at work so I will have to look for an alternative. In the meantime I might have to try journaling or apply my own art therapy strategies.

My eldest daughter, who hasn’t lived at home for 4 years (moved out to go to uni) told me this afternoon that she is still struggling with her mental health too. I also can’t do anything to help her but at least she is seeing a psychologist so I know she has some help. She is clever and her studies provided her with plenty of knowledge to try herself too.
Apparently my youngest asked her sister if she wanted to help slash my partner’s tyres today - which of course received a firm No.
Last night my youngest told me she still lives him and he is her best mate even though they argued.

It’s getting harder and harder to see the positives. I don’t know what to believe any more
Prolific scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Hi @Worriedmun ,

Sounds like you have made efforts to find supports for your daughter. Teenagehood moving to early adulthood can be a time of mixed emotions. There are life choices which need to be made and at times, it can be very trying for all. It seems that the anger is directed at those she is closest to. Unfortunately, this can been seen in many children. It can be often said that, "children behave worse for their parents"....why? because they are comfortable to show their true self - they are not there to have to please you.

It's a great first step in seeking support for your daughter. Another thing, have you sough support for yourself? for example, seeing a counsellor/psychologist etc for your own need as a parent? You may find this helpful and an opportunity to share these concerns.

Another important point is healthy boundary setting. When your daughter is calm, perhaps have a discussion about what works and doesn't work for both? 

Hope this helps!

Frequent scribe

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

I have thought about counselling. My budget is already really tight and I’m putting everything into my daughter.

She is quite protective of me and worries about me too. The past two nights she has been insistent on making sure I eat dinner. She tried to keep herself busy today doing things around the house, which often doesn’t happen. It’s a positive sign but I’ve seen it before and I still worry that she will just burst again.
I am so worried that I don’t want my partner to come over because I worry that they will clash again and we will go back to square one.

My anxiety is pretty high, my mind is foggy and I’m am soooo tired