When parents’ present with the problem of an angry teenager it is usually instructive to investigate how do they respond to that anger. There are three levels of this response each one representing an ego state. Their responses may indeed be encouraging that anger.
Most can usually define relatively easily what their Parent and Adult ego states believe and the reactions they have to teenager anger. It is the Child ego state of the mother and father that can be more difficult to define as a good deal of it can be unconscious. And parents can have their own Child ego state responses that are not socially acceptable. For example a mother may secretly delight in her teenage son’s anger at father because she is angry at her husband but feels unable to show it. In such circumstances mother will covertly encourage the teenager to be angry and she may not even be aware of this in varying degrees. Obviously therapists need to open to these other factors when parents bring a recalcitrant teenager to see them
Then there is the area of what Fanita English called the game of “Hot potatoe”. A parent who vicariously lives through her son or daughter. Anger expression can go along with self destructive acts. If this is happening the therapist again must be open to the idea that mother or father secretly delight in the angry self destructive acts of the teenager. This allows the mother or father to avoid the expression of their own self destructiveness.