5 Effective Ways to Help with a Rebellious Teenager
Author: Shannon Miller LifestyleGuest post by: Agnes Embile Jimenez
Any parent who has had a teenager in their home will tell you that parenting teenagers is no easy task.
Children do not come with instruction manuals and deciding what the right thing to do in a given situation can be stressful and emotionally draining. Raging hormones, angry outbursts, disrespectful tones, constant defiance, less than truthful tales, and unacceptable behavior can make home life difficult for both the parent and the teen. There are no easy answers and rebellious teenagers often leave parents feeling angry, guilty, and lost while the teen most certainly is feeling these emotions as a result of their own behavior.
Teenage years are frustrating for the child as well while they are transitioning from childhood to adolescent or adult and are often confused about their own moods and behavior. The anger and frustration with themselves can be projected onto family members in many different forms with rebellion being only one. It is normal for teenagers to push boundaries and rebel against their parents as they struggle to find themselves and their place in the world. It is up to the parent to remain strong and consistent in their parenting methods to help their teenager through this difficult stage in life. While there are no set rules or instructions, there are a few basic guidelines parents can follow to help cut down on stress and tension in their home.
1. Perhaps the most important thing for parents of teenagers to remember is to choose your battles. Acting out is a necessary part of growing and maturing so it becomes necessary for parents to fight the battles that need to be fought. To elaborate: If your teenager wears a pair of jeans you find offensive but are still within the bounds of common decency and moderation, it might be best to keep your thoughts about the jeans to yourself. However, if your teenager is wearing clothing that clearly violates their school’s dress code or are inappropriate for their age, this would be a battle to fight. Letting your teenager know that you are not going to be “on their case” constantly but you expect them to stay with the bounds of reason allows them some much needed freedom to make responsible decisions for themselves without going over the line.
2. Understand your teenager. Knowing why you child is behaving a certain way is half the battle. Make an effort to know what is going on in your teen’s life so you know when their behavior is reflecting an underlying issue such as a fight with their BFF or a bad grade on a test that he/she studied hard for. If you can get your child to confide in you and you can listen and be objective without judging (while this is often a difficult task in and of itself), this will go a long way in reigning in and preventing rebellious behavior.
3. Set clear and non-negotiable rules for your teen. Having a clear set of rules and letting the teen know the consequences in advance for breaking these rules can be very beneficial in controlling rebellious behavior. It is important to remain consistent and stick to the rule set. Let “No” mean “No” and vice versa with little or no room for exception. Having a reasonable rule set and incurred punishments sets clear boundaries, and teenagers NEED boundaries.
4. Give guidance without judgment. While it is not often that a teenager will ask a parent for advice, it does happen. When it does it is extremely important for the parent to remain open-minded and nonjudgmental. If a parent can offer advice and guidance openly and without chastising the teenager feels a level of respect and trust they would not feel otherwise. This will open the lines of communication and help the parent to better understand their teen.
5. Involve the teenager in family activities. The dreaded family night can be a source of stress and loathing for many teenagers but it is necessary. This much needed time is healthy for the relationship between the parent and it is likely that even though they don’t realize it, this family time makes them feel closer to their parents and strengthens the family bond. This sense of closeness and bonding can go long way in helping parents control a rebellious teenager.
If these 5 suggestions have been tried and the rebellion is not getting any less and the parent/child relationship is deteriorating, there are other options available to parents.
- Both private and family counseling is an option as well as parenting classes.
- There are times when even these extreme courses of action are not working. There are schools for rebellious and troubled teens out there if a parent is simply out of options and ideas.
- To find info on boarding schools and other teenage issues, parents can consult thefamilycompass.com for help.
Do not feel defeated.
SML Tip: Stay strong and be consistent and you will make it through these difficult years! Maybe someday this person who has made you feel so frustrated will be your best friend.
About the Author
Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with TheFamilyCompass.com in spreading awareness about troubled and depressed teenagers (and how to deal with them). The Family Compass aims to increase awareness on the current psychological and societal stresses of today’s teens and how these factors affect the future of our society.