Dealing with a Rebellious Teen
Help for Parents

Are you living with a rebellious teen in your home?  The behavior you are witnessing may be far different from what you may have witnessed just a few short years ago.  Teen stress can cause a wide range of mood swings. As your child matures, she also is learning her independence and sometimes this can look a lot like defiance.  Teens feel pressure from their schools, their friends and their families.  It seems that stress is everywhere in their lives. for both the teen and the parent.



What Causes Rebellion?

  1. Your teen is discovering her self identity.  She is trying to  discover her own unique  personality brand.  This included identifying the character traits she likes and doesn't like. You, as a parent, are liable to hear more about what she dislikes than what she likes.
  2. Your teen may be looking for attention.  Sometimes parents and friends get so focused on their own daily lives that they appear to show little attention on their kids.  This lack of attention can be very upsetting and a teen may act out to gain the attention, even if it is negative.
  3. Your teen may be experiencing peer pressure.  During these years, your teen is often extremely concerned about what other people think.  Friends and peers are heavy influences in her life, even more so than family at times.  She is looking to fit it. This is why it is important for you to know who she is hanging out with and make certain that they are not engaging in destructive behavior.  Your teen may rebel at rules that you establish but her safety is always the first concern.
  4. Your rebellious teen is experiencing hormonal changes. During the teenage years, the body experiences many physical and hormonal changes.  The hormonal fluctuations can lead to rapid mood swings and lead to wide variations in emotional responses.

 

How Does a Teen Rebel?

As your teen experiences hormonal changes, be on the lookout for times when she may be argumentative or she may exhibit great mood swings.

She may start challenging rules-- curfews, completing household chores, keeping her room tidy, taking care of pets or siblings.

Watch if there is a sudden change in physical appearance.   It is not unusual to experiment with clothing styles, hair styles, makeup, however dramatic changes may be a sign of peer pressure.

School problems, such as a drop in grades or skipping school may indicate other priorities in her life. Watch that the rebellious teen is not experimenting with alcohol or drugs.

How Can You Help a Rebellious Teen?

Practice honest communication with your rebellious teen. You may find these teen stress reducing tips helpful.  During this challenging time in your and your teen's lives, stay honest and open. Take time to listen and offer non-judgmental advice.

Develop a set of household rules. They should be agreed upon, or at least understood by both you and your teen.  Make certain that the consequences are understood and clear.    It is helpful to  include her input as you modify rules to reflect her maturation over time.  A rebellious teen might be more likely to comply if she is involved in establishing the rules she is to live by.

Show respect.  Showing respect for your teen's accomplishments, and don't compare her to other siblings. Let her be herself. Help her become capable of making realistic and responsible decisions. During these teen years of self discovery, make certain that your teen is aware of her talents, abilities and intellectual capabilities. 

Parent Strategies to Help a Rebellious Teen

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