Does your teen get angry when told no or things don’t go their way? Accepting things that are uncomfortable is difficult for anyone, especially for teenagers. Teenagers are still developing their frontal lobes where decision making and patience reside.

Life can be messy. We experience pain, we are wronged, and sometimes life is simply unfair. When faced with a problem we can start by asking ourselves these questions:

1) Is there anything I can do about this? If so, do it. Change your situation.

2) Can I change how I feel about this situation? If so, change your feelings.

3) Can I tolerate this situation? This is where today’s blog comes in.

Many of the teens I work with at Mindful Healing struggle with accepting when things aren’t the they want them to be. This leads to anger, frustration, resentment, which in turn result in outburst at school or arguments at home. This can be related to parents having to set limits or it can be related to facing challenging situations in their life such as being justifiable wronged.

Teens often feel more in control when trying to change things they actually cannot control. There is an illusion of control for them. They are often trying to change their parents’ minds, trying to change the past, trying to change or control what other people think about them. This leads to increased suffering.


One skill I teach to help teens manage being told no, not getting their way or dealing with a painful experience from their past is Radical acceptance. We all have those moments we wish would could change but can’t. The first step to acceptance is realizing what it is not. Teens often feel like if they accept a situation they are giving up or saying that something wrong or unfair was okay.


Acceptance is about accepting the moment as it is and a willingness to be present in our lives without attachment to the past or future. In DBT we often use the mantra “I don’t like, I Can’t Change it, but I Can Accept it” to help shift us to an open state of mind.

If you have a teen who is struggling is experiencing anger, frustration, sadness or low self-esteem over things out of their control go ahead and reach out to me at hereand I will connect with you help explore the next best steps to helping your teen find happiness.

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