What should you do if your teen slams the door?


If your teen is slamming doors, chances are he/she's angry -- probably not an unusual mood for the typical teen. The best thing you as a parent can do is not rise to the bait, but do address the behavior at a more advantageous time.

First, it's probably helpful for you to understand why your teen is so easy to anger. He/she is not trying to complicate your life. New brain research has shown that teens' brains are not fully developed, particularly that area of the brain that manages impulse control. Instead, teens are still using the more primal part of their brain to make a lot of decisions, which is why they can make such bad ones. In fact, research has also shown that teens can often misinterpret others' behaviors as negative attention directed toward them [Source: Megan]. This is why a simple question from you may trigger an angry outburst from your teen.

Understanding why your teen is so apt to slam the door doesn't mean you have to excuse such behavior. Indeed, it's critical to your teen's proper development that he/she begins to learn how to control his/her anger and that there are consequences for bad behavior. Ideally, you should discuss with your teen -- before the angry outbursts -- what the consequences will be. Even if you haven't, you still need to talk to your teen once the emotion of the moment has passed. Don't get into a power struggle with your teen in the midst of his/her anger - - you'll likely lose. However, once the anger has passed and you can have a calm talk with him/her, let him/her know what the consequence is of his/her behavior. If you want to let your teen know in the moment, that's fine if he/she is still angry, but it's important that you aren't. Your anger will only escalate the situation. Instead, model good behavior for your teen by maintaining your cool while maintaining your standards.