Tackling Rebellious Behavior : Parent and Teen Connection

Tackling Rebellious Behavior

February 17, 20140 Comments

rebellion-395296-mTeen rebellion is just part of life, right? Actually, it doesn’t always have to be. Not every teen is rebellious, and even if you have one who is, there are small changes you can make to help offset that behavior.

The Secret to Changing Rebellious Teens

Whether your teen has issues with substance use, bullying, failing grades or running away from home, one thing remains constant: If you want your child to change, you must change first.

And if you’re rolling your eyes right now — hear me out.

Parenting teens is like parenting toddlers — you’re sleep-deprived, stressed out, second-guessing yourself and worst of all — you’re dealing with tantrums.

I get it.

I’ve spent years counseling youth from all walks of life: Rich, poor, Black, white, special education students, “gifted and talented,” on probation, living in foster homes, Ivy-league bound, expelled and athletically blessed.

You name it. I’ve seen it. And heard the excuses, too.

All 1,093 of them.

“What do you mean, I need to change? I didn’t serve him the liquor, for God’s sake!”

“Why would I want my child to bully other kids? I didn’t throw that first punch.”

“I’ve tried everything to get her to stay in at night. And please don’t think because you have a few letters behind your name, you know what I’m going through…”

“What you’re suggesting isn’t gonna work on my kid… Wait? Do you even have kids? Well… how many?”

And on and on.

Frustrated parents go with angry teens like Labrador pups go with Clydesdale horses in Super Bowl commercials.

And your story can have a happy ending, too.

The secret formula lies in effective discipline. The concept may be easy to grasp, but the execution is what often trips up parents.

If you master a few core principles for setting rules like a boss, your teen will be a lot easier to manage.

But first you need to understand the roots of her rebellion…

As a rookie therapist, I was taught that adults from overly strict or overly permissive households generally want to raise their children in the opposite manner in which they were raised. The problem is both dynamics lead to black-and-white parenting.

For example, if your folks were overly strict and/or harsh with discipline, it’s not uncommon to rebel against rules, or become anti-authority when raising kids of your own. In short, you point to the other end of the discipline dial.

Ironically, this overly-permissive style means kids ending up in more trouble!

This parent blames the school, the supervision aides and other students when John is suspended for fighting on campus.

John internalizes the message that he doesn’t have to play by society’s rules. He continues to do as he pleases, and he continues to be punished.

On the other hand, being raised by MIA or overly permissive parents means you may have been left to self-parent. Ensuring your own children don’t grow up feeling dismissed or ignored is common.

This parent overcompensates by indulging and doing everything for her teen. But without room to explore and make mistakes, Sara doesn’t learn to problem solve and become independent.

How to parent with the right amount of authority?

Reboot your parenting template.

And sometimes this means starting anew with a fresh, clean, discipline slate.

Step 1: Ask What Discipline Means to You

Read more at Huffington Post.

Even during those rebellious moments, your teen still needs you. Learning how to deal with the tough times is a must to raise a happy, healthy teen.

Tackling Rebellious Behavior

Article: Tackling Rebellious Behavior

Author: Linda Esposito

Source: Huffington Post

Filed in: Common Teenage ProblemsParenting Teenagers
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