How to Handle Teenage Rebellion the Right Way

How to handle teenage rebellion in a right way

When your child is born, they may be the cutest and most precious being you’ve set your eyes on. Because of that, you wish they could stay that angelic forever, but of course, that’s not possible in reality. In the blink of an eye, your baby becomes a restless toddler. You blink again, and they’re off to school. Before you know it, your child has turned into a teenager.

Over the years, you’ve watched your little one develop. You’ve witnessed their physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral growth. You’ve seen how much they’ve transformed before your very eyes. You then realize that they’ve become their own person.

Most parents experience dealing with toddler tantrums, and it’s probably driven a lot of them up the wall. If you happen to be one of them, what do you think about having rebellious teens? Will you be able to handle a teenager who refuses to listen to everything you say?

Parents struggling with teenage rebellion may find it hard to navigate that kind of situation. It’s understandable, though, since no one really prepares you for this. Fortunately, this article will help you handle and discipline your rebellious teen.

Image from Flickr by Garry Knight

Teen Development

Adolescence or teenage years can be a big challenge for parents. During this time, the teenage brain undergoes numerous important changes. Thus, they struggle to control themselves. In addition, their hormones heighten their emotions, resulting in mood swings.

It’s during these teen years that a person develops meaningful friendships. They may also become more open to exploring new things. Within this period in your child’s life, you have to be there to guide and help them so they can transition to adulthood properly.

As a parent, you need to be conscious of acting or talking in front of your teens. Be mindful not to yell at them, make fun of them, and punish or criticize them if there’s no reason to. Otherwise, your teen may feel unloved and unwanted. They might think that you’re not interested in getting to know them better. They may also assume that you only want to dictate their every action for your own satisfaction.

What Is Teen Rebellion?

Teen rebellion is when a teenager asserts their independence often by defying the advice and guidance of their parents. This phase is called rebellion because most conversations with the teenager end in intense confrontation. You may even think that your child’s behavior, decisions, or actions seem illogical.

As a parent who’s gone through adolescence as well, you should be more understanding. Keep in mind that there could be underlying issues contributing to your child’s rebelliousness.

Causes of a Teenager’s Rebellious Behavior

Desire for Independence

Many teens want to be adults, but just like younger children, they’re still uncertain about life. Because of this, they can develop a strong desire to challenge the status quo.

Teens tend to prefer making decisions independently and testing their limitations. This urge for independence could lead to an increase in adult defiance and rule-breaking.

Differences in Beliefs With Parents

A lot of parents have set rules in the home that every family member needs to follow. Your teen, however, may feel suffocated following your orders. Because they long to be independent, they might begin to question all the rules you’ve implemented. Your teen may also find you uptight or controlling, which could prompt them to insist on their own ways of doing things.

Impulsive Decisions

Your teen’s desire for independence and thrill-seeking encounters are likely to cloud their judgment. As a consequence, they become prone to making impulsive decisions. For instance, they may violate rules while ignoring the risks attached.

Peer Pressure

Aside from wanting independence, your teen might crave approval from their peer group. Since they give high regard to the opinions of other people their age, they want to feel that they belong to a group. Because of this, teens have the tendency to go against their parents. They’ll go to great lengths to please and be accepted by their peers.

Brain Development

The region of the brain responsible for emotion control and judgment becomes fully developed only when a person reaches their mid-20s. This is why some teens are impulsive and unpredictable when making decisions. Their developing brain is still immature, triggering their rebellious behavior.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes experienced by teens during their adolescence affect their thinking process. Your teen’s sex hormones significantly impact their brain’s function. These may also affect essential neurotransmitters that could then lead to mood and demeanor problems.

Positive Effects of Teen Rebellion

A good number of adults think that a rebellious child is nothing but a nuisance to their families and to society. But if only adults were more empathetic, they’d have fewer disagreements with younger individuals. On the same note, teenagers may be less rebellious if adults respected them.

A teen’s rebellious phase has its fair share of positive points, such as:

More Open Communication

You may start to appreciate your teen for initiating more mature conversations with you. For example, they might question the rules you’ve laid out for them. In line with that, they could also be willing to listen to the reasoning behind those rules as they don’t want to follow them blindly.

Greater Feeling of Independence

If your teenage son or daughter no longer asks for your help as often as they used to, be happy for them. Don’t baby them; instead, respect their decision not to be treated like a child who has to be looked after every single second. 

Remember: you were given plenty of time to do just that when they were younger. It’s about time you gave your teen adequate room to explore the world on their own.

Adaptation of Socially Appropriate Behavior

Your teen could be rebelling because they want to experience life to the fullest, so let them make decisions by themselves. Allow them to feel personal success, pain, and failure. This way, they’ll learn from their mistakes and find out what’s acceptable in various social situations.

Feeling More Like a Grown-Up

Teens who rebel in a healthy manner can think and act like responsible adults. Give them the freedom to shape their lives the way they want to. Along the way, they’ll learn how to accept the consequences of their decisions as well.

Boost in Self-Confidence

Rebellious teens can become more confident and assertive. They tend to develop a stronger sense of self-awareness, too. As a parent, you may encourage healthy rebellion in your teenagers, but you have to be careful not to allow this to turn into something negative or difficult to control.

Handling and Disciplining a Rebellious Teenager

There are ways you can keep your rebellious teenager’s behavior in check. If you’re struggling with this situation right now, here are some tips to consider:

Be Calm

Teens are still kids, and more importantly, they’re your kids. So don’t feel frustrated if you don’t fully understand your teen’s emotions and why they’re being defiant. Do your best to have polite conversations with them. Use an especially calm and warm tone of voice when talking to them about their feelings and thoughts so they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you.

Even if the conversation with your teenage child seems to be going nowhere, keep your cool. Don’t be aggressive in your body language, either–actions speak louder than words.

Set Suitable Limitations

If you’re the type of parent who punishes your child for wrongdoings and misbehaviors, it’s best for you to stop. This may only cause your rebellious teen to defy you even more. They might pursue the wrong things deliberately to show how much they despise you for being a control freak.

It’s normal to feel frustrated should you fail to connect emotionally with your teenager. Still, that’s not a justification for you to hit your child, ground them, or take away their gadgets or electronic devices. There are better ways to handle your teen.

Engage in Friendly and Respectful Conversation With Your Teen

Your teen would appreciate it if you talked to them in a relaxed, non-judgmental manner. Don’t be authoritative under any circumstances. If you stay level-headed, your teen might just follow your example and perhaps even become less rebellious eventually.

Explain and Give Them Answers

If you provide certain dos and don’ts for your teenager, make sure to explain why each of them is necessary. If you don’t allow them to go to evening parties, make them understand that you’re worried about the illicit activities that may take place in such events. If you give them a curfew, talk to them about how much you prioritize their safety whenever they’re outside your home.

When conversing with your rebellious teen, ensure that communication goes both ways. You have to listen to them actively and take their perspective into consideration. If the both of you can compromise, that’d be better.

There could be fewer instances of rebellion if your teen understands the reason behind the restrictions they’re subject to. They’ll appreciate it if you involve them in the decision-making process. Through this, your teen will know where you’re coming from. They’ll also realize that negative behavior results in negative consequences.

Go for a Win-Win Solution

As mentioned, it’s a good idea to make your teen a part of the process of creating the rules and limitations they have to adhere to. However, don’t easily give in to their demands if they’re unreasonable. You and your teen need to plan it out together—teenagers like it when you give them options and don’t boss them around.

As the adult in the relationship, you have to control your anger toward your teenage child. Be a model of self-regulation. Don’t allow your conversation or discussion to spiral out of control. Active listening and empathy will go a long way when dealing with a rebellious child.

When Does Teenage Rebellion Get Out of Hand?

Here are the warning signs that you may have to start doing something about your teen’s behavior:

  • Your teen’s anger, annoyance, and aggressiveness don’t seem to dissipate.
  • Your teenager interacts less frequently than usual with the rest of the family.
  • They answer everyone in a rude manner.
  • They do things that they know get on your nerves.
  • They indulge in risky activities such as drinking alcohol and smoking.

They say that a parent’s intuition is never wrong. You know your child enough to know if they’re fine or if they need help. Seek professional help if you suspect that something is wrong with your teen.

Prevention of Teenage Rebellion

Although rebellion may be difficult to avoid, you can prevent it from getting out of control by doing the following:

Set Firm Yet Reasonable Rules

When coming up with rules, make sure that both you and your child win in the situation. The rules you set should respect your teen’s independence and privacy. At the same time, they have to give you peace of mind knowing that things won’t go out of hand in and out of your household.

Talk Without Arguing

Usually, teenagers only want to have a conversation with their parents and not engage in a heated argument. However, their intentions can be misinterpreted by adults, leading to disagreements.

Make sure not to dictate or demand so much from your teenage child. Like everyone else, they don’t enjoy being tied and bound. They’ll likely be more compliant if you show them that you’re sincere in listening to them.

Set Fair Consequences

Make it clear to your teenager that while you’ll allow them to do what they like, once they break the agreement they’ve made with you, there’ll be consequences for them to face. The consequences should be appropriate for your child.

For instance, your teen’s looking to have some friends over for dinner. You agree but only if your child cleans their room and helps with the dishes as soon as their friends leave. If your teen fails to comply with those conditions, then tell them they’re not allowed to invite their friends to your home for the next two weeks.

Your teen also has to understand that some things aren’t worth arguing over. Put your foot down when it comes to prohibiting them from smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Teach them how to protect themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally by resisting peer pressure.

Acknowledge Their Good Behavior

Everybody likes being acknowledged every now and then for the good things they’ve done. Your teen is no exception. They’d appreciate it if you praise them for being responsible. Compliment them when they consistently clean their entire room, help prepare meals, or do their homework without being told.

Consider Rewarding Them

Aside from compliments, your teen might want to be rewarded for being well behaved with material things. Of course, these don’t have to be expensive items. If your teen prefers to see a particular movie or visit an amusement park, then go for such options instead. This is a positive way to encourage good behavior.

Give Them Personal Space and Privacy

Allow your teenage child to have their own space, and respect their privacy at all times. If they enjoy spending some time with their friends after school, then let them. If they’re tired and would rather rest in their room than hang out with the family, don’t force them to socialize.

You can be flexible about such things if you know your teen abides by your rules. Being too strict or rigid with them can trigger rebellious behavior.

Change Your Perspective

One day, you might hear your teen yelling at you, “You don’t really care about me! You only care about yourself!” You could end up thinking, “Wait, what?” knowing deep down that what you’re doing is for their benefit and not your own. How can you settle this problem?

Change your perspective and try putting yourself in your teen’s shoes. If they tell you that they feel unheard, unwanted, or unloved, you may be treating them harshly without knowing it. Because of this, they may stop talking to you at home and choose to hang out with their friends in order to avoid confrontation and tension.

Your teen’s passiveness may give you some temporary relief since you assume they’ve calmed down. Sadly, that’s not the case. After a heated argument, most teens’ brains are all over the place. They might hate you and curse you for not understanding them or not being there for them. See to it that you check on them and find out exactly what they’re feeling so you can act accordingly.

When Does Teen Rebellion End?

Many parents miss the toddlers who used to cling to them 24/7. Similarly, teenagers might also miss the fun times they’ve shared with their family. In therapy, the therapist can help fix broken bridges between teens and the parents. They’re encouraged to express their true feelings to get rid of misunderstandings and resentment.

Rebellion will only end if you’re patient enough with your child. You should remember that they love you and that there are many factors contributing to their actions and decisions. Keep assuring them that you only have their best interests at heart.

Is Professional Help Available for Teenage Rebellion?

As a parent, your defiant teen might be giving you plenty of anxiety. Maybe you feel frustrated because the arguments and quarrels seem endless. It can be especially overwhelming for a first-time teen parent to face issues such as your child’s rude behavior and mouthy reactions. So is there anything you can do about this? 

Seeking professional help for you and your teen is an option. Counseling Now knows that you fear losing the precious relationship you have with your child. Our team values relationships and will determine the best methods to mend broken connections. We can help in recognizing the signs of teen depression and other mental health issues that could be the root cause of rebellious behavior.

Additionally, our team here at Counseling Now can address various issues by offering individual counseling and therapy for teens. This allows for teens to open up to someone outside their family circle. Our therapists will ensure that your child feels safe and not judged.

Counseling Now also offers family counseling and therapy. Here, teenagers are treated with their family involved for much-needed support.

We have one of the largest professional mental health care networks in Ohio. You can request our services in convenient ways. You can reach us over the phone, via email, or on our website. We cater to younger children, teens, and adults alike.

At Counseling Now, we strive to be client-centered and focus on your strengths so you can heal and be free from negativity. In therapy, teens can develop self-awareness and self-esteem, which may help change their behavior for the better in the long run.

Both You and Your Teen Can Work It Out

Embrace your child’s teenage years because these too will pass sooner than you expect. Listen to your teens even if they’re rebelling. Take into account that they’re young adults longing to be seen and heard. Show your love for them by setting reasonable rules. Whenever you enforce curfews, correct misbehaviors, and deliver consequences for wrongdoings, be as fair and loving as possible.

Oftentimes, your teen may not understand that you only want to keep them safe. See to it that your sincerity is apparent to them at all times. If not, they might interpret your gestures as attempts to overpower them.
As a parent, you have to accept that your teen deserves to be given independence. Learn to trust their judgment; after all, if you raised them well, you should be confident about their choices in life. Don’t wait for the time that you and your teen feel like strangers living under one roof. Let Counseling Now guide you on becoming an even more amazing parent to your teenage child. Book an appointment now!

Search Posts


Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: