How Do I Deal With My ANGER!

Anger in troubled teens and young adults is a huge issue these days. Is it more than other generations? That’s really not the issue if you are someone who has major anger issues. The real question is “how do I feel with not being heard!!!”

As in most things, anger issues are multi-factorial.
Any one, two or three things may push it up the heat thermometer, but it is the aggregate of 7’s, 8’s and more that bring you into the sphere of danger.

So how do we go from: “No! You’re not listening to me!!!” (for the one hundredth time) to smashed walls, kicked-in TV’s and worse? It is all about communication. If neither side feels like they are getting their message across and both sides feels they know what the other is going to say and you’ve heard it all before, then you are in a mobius loop of miserable mood.

Some suggestions for changing the dynamics and having a (sometimes) harmonious home:

Take turns being the listener or the speaker. Whichever you begin with, do the whole process before changing sides.

1) Listen without interruption. Listen with intention. Avoid any non-verbal cues that are anything but supportive. Your goal is to hear the speaker as if you have never heard them before or know their history.

2) Repeat back what you have heard in your own words. Do not add commentary. Ask if what you heard is correct and let the speaker correct or change as they choose and repeat back again their changes.

3) Empathize on how they feel. This is not about right or wrong. This is about hearing them and their point of view. The truth is, the gap between parents and children has never been greater thanks to the breakneck pace of change the world has entered.

4) Validate. Let them know how it makes sense how they would feel like they do coming from their state of mind.

This process should take place in an unregular place (like a basement couch, some chairs in the hallway; some place that you guys have never, ever yelled in.
This process should  be tried in calmer times, not when the proverbial poop hits the fan.
Expect it to take around 12 weeks to build the mutual listening skills.
Once it has taken hold, you can try a time out in a heated moment to try the system and if at first it doesn’t succeed, keep trying.

One final note (in case you hadn’t guessed)… in regards to this column’s title: you can control your anger. Start by learning to communicate with others. Start by making situations occur that allow you and the ones who you sometimes feel angry at to both get the chance to listen and be heard.

Want something? Give it. Want to be heard?


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Asperger Syndrome in Teens – Dealing with Rage and Anxiety

Asperger Syndrome in teens is often the perfect age for life coaching young adults with Autism.
Dealing with rage and anxiety can be truly surpassed in ways that neither the young person nor the family can imagine.

Case Study – Stephen – Aspergers Syndrome in Teens: Anger.
So, it was time for my Zoom session with Stephen. Stephen prefers to call himself Autistic and before the DSMV, he would have been labeled Asperger’s Syndrome but if he was happy, I was happy. But right now, Stephen was not happy.

You would have thought he would have been. Instead of a Florida vacation, as a reward for doing great in school in marks, class participation and interactions, his mom had given him the dream vacation of his choice. 8 hours a day of D&D.

Situational Challenges of Asperger Syndrome in Teens:
Unbeknownst to Stephen’s mom, there was a kid in his group that Stephen called an “ass-hat” who constantly annoyed Stephen and another kid from the moment they got their until the moment they left. Furthermore, instead of the nice drive in Mom’s Audi, they were going home by subway. (Wait it gets better). The subway cars were stopped and everyone had to leave due to a jumper on the tracks. (Wait it gets better).

Now after waiting for the bus or the streetcar for 30 minutes, both come at the same time and they are full of p—–off people, lots of sounds, smells etc., Stephen and Mom get home one minute before the Skype session with me is about to start….

The Chat with Ken Rabow
Skype does its little Skyp-ee tune. Stephen is not on the screen. It is Stephen’s mom. Behind her is Stephen screaming: “I don’t want to do it! I’m f***ing fed up” (etc). (I have not heard what had gone on at this point.) Stephen’s mom says the we shouldn’t have the Skype session because Stephen is in his ‘out of control fit” phase.

(guess how it turned out)
to be continued soon!

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While you are waiting, Stephen and I put together an article which ended up in the Huffington Post about his issues with people trying to “make things easy” on people with Autism. Its a great read and got great response. You can read it by clicking here. If you like it please click “like” and share it.

Interested in mentoring young adults? Click here.

Young Adults Wondering: “Why bother?”

Have you ever wondered why there are so many young adults wondering why bother? So many young adults have given up. Too many parental promises: “Try this! It is guaranteed to work!” (It doesn’t…again) . No one would be surprised that you have given up hope.

Although there’s a chance that you are here at this site because one of your friends told you about it, the safer bet is that your parents suggested you check it out.
Either way is OK with me.
I have something to share with you.
I have seen for myself with countless clients, that no matter how messed up your life has been, no matter how many “issues” issues you may have had, you can change your life for the better starting right now.
(sounds like one of those detergent commercials on TV, eh?)

Experience has show me that: it’s the people who don’t quite “fit in” who have the best chance of starting new and really making it work, once they find a system that is made just for them. That is when they begin to stop saying why bother.

The problem with a lot of systems is that they are forced upon people, they work for people who are “straight ahead”, but if you are at all a bit ”out there”, those systems may not really speak to you.

So, how does the system work?
The system is fairly simple, in itself, and I will explain in a minute, but what makes it special is what we bring along with it, or really, what we don’t bring along with it.

We don’t bring along your “history”. We don’t bring along your mess ups. I had one parent spend an hour telling me all the things that her kid did wrong. When I finally found a space to speak, I asked the parent “what are the things your child does well?”

The parent was very happy to go onto this entirely new tangent of all the really cool things that her child did. They were awesome things and I knew that I could work with that.
If you have even one thing that speaks to you; you love music; you love animals or little kids; you’re funny; you love the arts; (fill in your thing here); then mentoring young adults can work with you and we can do something great!

So now, back to how the system works 🙂

You pick three goals that you would like to work on.
Feel free to make up your own that make more sense to you but for the moment:
Let’s use one from one of my most recent clients;

Client: Skeeter Peterson
What are three goals you would like to work on:
Stop sucking at school.
Do something about the amount of weed I smoke.
Have my parents yell at me less.

You might find Skeeter’s goal choices a little weird, or they make make complete sense to you. Your choices would be based on you.

Once we’ve made those goal choices, we look at what are the challenges to making those goals work.

Finally, we ask you what would be a first indicator of success. Nothing huge. Nothing magic. Simple first signs of victory. Once you can choose or imagine first sign-posts of success, you no longer will be that young adult wondering “why bother”. You will become a young adult ready to investigate ways to learn, grow and develop as part of a team. Your mentor and you with you in control.

What you find out is, a great mentor doesn’t really care if you mess up working on your goals or not. We care about figuring out why you you met one are all of your goals one day and not the next. If we can figure out what inspires you (it could be the weirdest things that might not make sense to anyone else but you), then you learn how you best work and how to inspire yourself with things that will make sense to you.

So now, back to the first question; why bother?
Why not? 🙂

But seriously, if you tried everything else and you’re not happy with how your life is, you really have nothing to lose. So why not bother. Or just say “bleep it”. Try it and see what happens. No expectations. No pressure. But a chance that this may be the thing for you.

There you have it. It’s a little different. But it really works.
Please feel free to email me any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Rabow 2022 update. I think I should mention that after you have chosen your goals, identified your challenges and picked sign-posts of success, the next part of mentoring young adults is creating a daily routine. “You can only do in your life what you can do in a day”. There are so many reasons why it is hard to get the “good things” into your daily routine. An experienced mentor will know how to let you live your life and still succeed in going towards your goals with a few things each day.

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