Why Do Teenagers Rebel Against Parents' Authority?

03 May 2020

What are the reasons teenagers rebel against parental authority? Adolescence is a stage where children experience a lot of transformation. This transition period raises questions in teens when it comes to identity and independence. This is because it's a stage where adolescents face some of the difficult choices in life, such as friendships, academics, gender identity, and much more.

What happened to your respectful and polite little boy? Why won't he listen when you tell him something important? Doesn't he see the real-life consequences of his actions? Why does he behave like that despite the way you raised him? What things do teenagers want? If these questions are familiar to you, then this article worth reading.

You can bear with me that teenage rebellion is nothing new. Sometimes it seems that everything a parent tries to do for their adolescent children only pushes them away further. For a long time, teenagers' relationship with their parents has not been easy. Research shows that parents are more likely to have done everything right for their teenagers, but their teen turns out to be defiant and rebellious.

Causes of teenage rebellion

Dealing with a rebellious teenager can sometimes prove to be a daunting task. Parents need to know why their teenagers are rebelling. After identifying the reason, they can take their time to help these teens see reality more clearly. They don't need to lose temper or cut them off; instead, they need to act calmly. Here are 5 reasons why teenagers rebel.

1. Control

Most teens prefer to have some control over their lives. They don't like to be controlled and shown what to do like little kids. They are now grown-ups. They don't want to be told what to wear, whom they should talk to, or where they should go. They like to have authority over what they do.

An adolescent is likely to be rebellious if their parent becomes overly authoritative. If you enforce your decisions on these teens, they tend to defy them, and do what they see is important to them. Moreover, they feel bad whenever they realize that their parents don't believe in their decision-making abilities.

2. Independence

This is one of the main reasons why most teenagers rebel parents' authority. Most adolescents struggle with independence. It's understandable that when kids move into adolescence, they look forward to attaining freedom and independence, especially from their family and parents. It's a normal thing for every teen to want to be independent as they are experiencing various changes in their lives.

However, parents may unconsciously misinterpret their demand for independence with rebellion. This makes them think their children are slipping out of their hands. For instance, parents may not approve their teens hanging out with their friends at a local restaurant or mall because they fear that they could get into trouble.

3. Identity

Most adolescents also struggle to understand who they really are. They want to know their purpose in life. They have many questions that they always look forward to finding answers to. While they try to answer these questions, they are actually trying to discover their identity, individuality, and existence.

Teens can take their time to find out what they like, the kind of people they should interact with, their best subject, etc. However, when parents pay little attention to the changes in these teen lives, they end up assuming they are rebellious¬–and they become rebellious in the process.

4. Attention

Teenagers like it when everybody is talking about them. They can do anything to get a little attention, especially from their friends. They love it when their family, friends, and parents pay attention to their lifestyle, actions, and appearance. Lack of attention from at least their parents can cause them to seek that attention from other people, which turns out most of them are wrong people.

Parents need to understand how important to dedicate some time to their teens. They need to show them so love and attention. For instance, a teenage girl is likely to go out and seek attention from her peers if she doesn't get this attention at home. In the process, her friends might negatively influence her actions.

5. Acceptance

Without a doubt, teens face peer pressure while they grow. Teens want to blend in and adapt to the lifestyle of their fellow adolescents. They desperately want to be a part of the crowd and want to fit in. They want to do what everybody is doing. For example, if most of their friends are wearing Jordan shows, they also want to wear the same type of shoes.

In the process, they are likely to forget what they like and even lose their identity. This is because they can quickly adapt to someone else's entire lifestyle. These kinds of teens may not even listen to their family members or parents when they are corrected.  

How to gain control of your teenager 

How do you get your teenager to respect you? As a parent, you might wonder what is out-of-control and what is normal for your teens. Out-of-control teen behavior means that your children are don't respect you or the advice you give them on various matters. For instance, poor school performance, breaking the law, violent acts, self-destructive acts, and drug abuse are out-of-control behavior that most people see are disrespectful to parental advice.  

So what should you do with a rebellious teen? Here are 4 ways that can help in dealing with a rebellious teenager.

1. Find the cause

What is the cause of your rebellious teenager? Is it the teen, or is it you? Are you the one contributing to your teen's behavior? What are the things you should stop doing for your teenagers if you want them to behave normally? It's important to reflect and take time to observe your teen and the situation they are in.

Bad behavior doesn't spring suddenly––it occurs over time. As a parent, you may have missed the signs of a rebellious teenager because you paid little attention to them. Therefore, it's crucial to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your children in this stage of their lives. Even if they share little information, there are high chances they will listen to your advice.

2. Understand when you should act

It's important to know when you should intervene in your teen's troubled life. If you see your children interacting with others, it doesn't mean they are going to get into trouble. At times, these interactions can help them improve their behavior and know how to interact with others.

However, if your kid interacts with peers who abuse drugs or engage in destructive activities, you must act fast and advise your child about the consequences of such actions. The aim is to keep your teen safe.

3. Seek help

Sometimes, the advice you give your kid may not be enough. You can book a session for them with a therapist or a counselor. This is because some teens may be willing to share their thoughts with a stranger rather than their parents. Moreover, teenagers are likely to open up to their grandparents and older siblings than their parents.

Timely intervention and asking for help from others can help you can up with a long-lasting solution to your teen's problems.

4. Make rules

Teenagers need to be orderly in what they do. This is because there are many disadvantages of freedom for teenagers. As such, make rules in your house and implement those rules. Most of these rules include household chores, schoolwork, dinner time, spending, and rules on bad behavior. On top of this, have consequences to any kid who doesn't abide by the set rules.

Most parents think that by doing this, their kids will hate them. But this is not the case. Making your children understand that there are various rules to be followed, and there are consequences to their actions, they are more likely to implement the same in their daily lives. For instance, they will be aware that if they engage in drugs, they are likely to suffer from various diseases in their later lives.

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