Teenagers seem rude, lazy, and just plain strange, don’t they? Well, it’s not really their fault. You’re simply witnessing teen angst at work.

There’s a creature, clad in dark hoodie, which makes odd groans and speaks in alien languages. No, it’s not a monster, it’s only a teenager suffering from angst. Teen angst turns a bright-eyed little child into a hormonal work in progress. It’s truly a sight to be seen if you haven’t already witnessed such a spectacle.

It’s normal, however. So, there could be a scientific reason why your teen is being less than courteous and punctual.

What is teen angst?

Teen angst should not be confused with depression, which sometimes warrants professional help. Depression is also not a healthy condition. Teen angst, on the other hand, is a natural symptom of the growing process.

People between the age of 10 and 20 must go through a rather grueling ordeal. During this time, hormone changes are occurring which make the pressures of life and school harder to bear. Angst is basically a form of anxiety developed by those going through this growth period.

Is your child suffering from teen angst?

Not to worry, there are subtle clues which can help you discover the truth about your teen. Yes, teen angst occurs and is natural. Is your child entering this stage of life?

1. Risk seeking

Have you noticed your teen taking more risks lately or talking about risky behavior? Well, even if they don’t talk about it or do it in the open, there’s a good chance they are contemplating some thrilling or controversial act. That’s why it’s important to always keep lines of communication open to help them deal with these thoughts.

There is always a chance that you can make them understand the wrongs in their desires. For instance, if they knew the truth behind this behavior, it’s possible that they would think twice.

During teen angst, the area of the brain that advocates thrill-seeking behavior grows faster than the area that governs logical caution, and you can teach them this. Hope this helps.

2. Moodiness

You may notice your teen being short-tempered and emotional. This is because of the range of different hormones bombarding their growing bodies. Their identities are being formed, along with their sexual preferences. These raging hormones will make them lash out without thinking.

While there is little research on how this works, you can help by simply being patient. Understand that when your teen lashes out, it’s not personal.

I had to learn the hard way to not engage too deeply with an angst-ridden teen of mine. The more I pressed in, the more guarded he became until he collapsed emotionally into fits of anger and tears. That was a devastating thing for me to witness.

Just be careful, tread lightly with punishments, but do stand your ground.

3. Rudeness

This is a hurtful yet necessary trait of the angsty teenager. Being rude is usually targeted toward their parents and siblings and is a form of growth.

When they are rude, they are keeping a connection with their families while showing their desire for separation. In a nutshell, they are trying to see what it’s like to be independent without the commitment of actually being on their own.

Although their rudeness is hard to stomach at times, just know that it’s a natural thing. You can, however, reprimand them about their attitude letting them know that you will not tolerate such behavior.

Although they will probably do it again, it’s important that they understand who is ultimately in charge here. 😊

4. Messiness

While not every child is messy, many of them are. It’s a symptom of teenage angst. Some think that teenagers just don’t place importance on the look and smell of their rooms. This is why many children have “mystery smells” and other things coming from their closets and such.

After all, your house is not really their house, as they will be growing up and moving on some day. They still see cleaning as something of lesser importance compared to their social lives and physical changes.

While it wouldn’t be a good idea to do all the cleaning for them, you can help. There has to be a balance where you let them know you will be supportive, but you will also teach them valuable cleanliness as well. They will pick up the clean habit over time.

5. Loud music

Most teenagers, going through teen angst, listen to ungodly loud music and they never flinch. I guess some of us adults do as well…guilty.

Teens, however, have a higher tolerance to the sounds than someone who is around 25 or older. They may also listen to emotional and dark music as well which is a part of searching for their identity.

Yes, you have to reprimand them about the volume of their music, but maybe you can explain the differences in how we hear the sounds. This could help them be more considerate of others.

Of course, you will have to navigate the rudeness during this process as well. Lol

6. Physical pains

Your teen may also experience physical symptoms during teen angst. Growth pains and hormonal changes can cause leg pains and even an upset stomach. While some of this is normal, it is important to keep a watch on any physical changes when they occur during this time.

Make sure you visit the doctor regularly to ensure your teen is growing normally. It’s better to be a little paranoid than risk a more serious condition. After all, with the changes associated with teen angst, it can be easy to overlook severe physical ailments.

7. Avoidance

Teens, going through teen angst, will avoid their parents and siblings more often than not.

With my oldest child, I rarely even caught a glimpse of him during the summer. He spent most of his time with video games and friends. Yes, this is a common thing with youth. Right now, my middle child is going through this as well. Due to differences in personality, I see him a bit more. Shrug….

If you’re seeking help with this, then take heart. Although you might not be able to force them to spend quality time with you, you can steal a few chances by making connections with them.

For instance, ask about their games. Sometimes teens love to talk about their favorite games and share their accomplishments. Yes, it might seem silly, but stepping into their world helps you understand them better.

Dealing with the angst monster

I will reiterate how to deal with teen angst. Alright, first of all, do not force your teen to talk to you. This usually ends in resentment. When they are ready to open up, they will.

When they do, try your hardest not to ridicule or judge the things they confide. Otherwise, they will talk less and less, depriving you of their teen lives. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake. Fortunately, I fixed it.

Look for opportunities to connect, as I said before. There will be fewer connections as they grow into their own. This is because they are leaving childhood with your influences, and entering adulthood with the influence of friends and others. This is hard to swallow, but making connections keeps you in the loop.

Most of all, just love them and be there for them. They might not tell you, but they love you.

And they always will.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249805/
  2. https://connect.springerpub.com/content/book/978-0-8261-2059-5/chapter/ch01

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sahil

    Very nice article! I do appreciate your precise obeservations.

    1. Sherrie

      Thank you for reading, Sahil. I just read, research, and then try to understand it from my own experiences as a mother.

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