During adolescence teenagers start to create their own personality separate from their parents. The easiest way for teens to do this is to defy their parents and to begin arguing with them.
Parents are often taken by surprise, because until now their child wanted to please them – but rebellion is a natural progression on the course to adulthood.
Often parents take normal teenage rebellion (not complying with their requests) as a form of disrespect, and that can lead to constant conflict, since the teen wants independence, and the parents want compliance.
A few examples of normal teenage Rebellion:
- · Complaining about homework assignments – “They’re stupid.”
- · The music you listen to is so “old fashioned.”
- · Not wanting to be seen with you in public.
The best way to deal with normal teenage rebellion is to disregard the attitude and focus on the actions:
- · Let them know what is expected of them.
- · Do not take your teenagers rebellion personal! It is a normal stage and has absolutely nothing to do with you or what you do.
- · Accept that your teen will spend more time with friends away from family members.
- · Be careful with criticism. Teenagers like to experiment with their individuality to discover who they are. They may want the same hairstyle as their favorite celebrity and dress ‘strange.’ You can always express your opinion, but don’t criticize them for trying different things, or worse, make fun of them.
- · Treat your teen as an individual. Allow your teen to develop their identity. A teenager may become resentful if he feels that he cannot be independent. As long as your teen’s behavior is not harmful, let them try out new things.
- · Ignore the sighing, eye rolling, and complaining – teenagers are working on developing opinions, and this is just a clumsy way of expressing them.
- · Strengthen your authority
- · Allow your teen to express his or her frustration. Teens are pulling away from you to follow their ideas. They will be frustrated with having to adhere to your rules and limits, and say things like “I hate living here” or “Your rules are stupid.”
- · Don’t allow your teenager to pull you into an argument
How Do You Stop an Argument With A Teenager?
Say Nothing – Yes, sometimes it is that simple. Your teen may be in a bad mood, and pick a fight to unload it all on you. On the other hand, he or she may be really troubled with something.
While your teenager is throwing this “hairball” at you – stay quiet and try to figure out the real reason of your teen’s emotional outburst.
Teach Respect – Model respectful conversations by not interrupting your teenager, and do not allow your teen to interrupt you while you are speaking.
Don’t take anything personal – Your teen may be upset about something, and focus instead on blaming you.
For example, your teenage daughter set the washer to an incorrect cycle and temperature for her delicate blouse, and promptly ruined it. Your daughter may express her frustration about her inability to set the right temperature by blaming you for not doing it for her in the first place.
Help Your Teen along – Realize that your teenager is struggling with expressing what’s really bothering them, and try to help them along by asking relevant questions.
Make sure you Understand – Reiterate what you think they said in a tone that says “I care about you and what you think and feel, please help me understand you.”
Stay Focused – You may hear something you don’t like to hear. Consider that your teenager is an individual, and is forming their own ideas, values, and opinions. Allow your teen to have a different point of view than your own, and don’t try to ‘win’ as if it were a debate.
Be Patient – Your teen may want to tell you something, and it may take a while for them to actually tell you the whole story. If you start to ask too many questions too soon, they may get confused and start to argue.
Following through with these steps will help you break a pattern, be a role model for handling differences, and help your teen learn to calm down and express things properly.
Harmful Teenage Rebellion and Disrespect
Disrespectful teenagers will:
- · Be rude
- · Get loud
- · Get abusive
If your teenager gets rude, threatens, or physically hurts you or any other family member, it needs to be dealt with immediately.
Examine your family’s behavior towards each other – Since teenagers copy adults, you be modeling disrespectful behavior if you are disrespectful towards your own parents or partner.
Do not tolerate abusive behavior. If you are faced with a potentially violent situation, take action and call Police. Tolerating abusive behavior only makes your teenager more angry and disrespectful.