If you are a parent of a teenager, then you understand very well just how difficult teens can be. Whether you choose to call it “talking back,” “sassing,” “’copping a ‘tude,” or some other variation, teens’ attitudes and moods can pose a challenge to even the most patient of parents. But while some degree of teenaged rebellion and disobedience is normal, it does have the potential to spiral out of control. In these situations – situations in which one family member’s behavior has a negative impact on the rest of the family – the teenager’s bad behavior should definitely be addressed. Below you will find a few examples of why teenagers can be so disobedient:
1. Their hormones affect their moods.
There’s no denying that hormones go crazy during the teen years. These hormones affect nearly every aspect of your teen’s personality, including their appetite, their energy level, and, most of all, their mood. Although unbalanced hormones cannot be made completely responsible for teenagers’ disobedience, their occasional negativity and moodiness can absolutely be blamed on hormones. Sudden and unpredictable mood shifts are to be expected with teenagers, but, when those mood shifts become violent, disruptive, extreme, or too frequent then your teenager could have a more serious emotional disorder like depression or bipolar disorder.
2. They’re evolving.
Unfortunately, disruptive behavior is often simply a product of growing up. Teenagers are making a tough transition into adulthood, and part of the process of growing up is to establish an identity separate from their parents’. In order to solidify their independence and “make a name” for themselves, so to speak, teenagers (ironically) often engage in very childish actions like being rebellious, deliberately disobeying instructions, being unreasonably argumentative, and other types of difficult behavior. This may seem counterproductive, and, in many ways it is, but childish reactions and strategies are often the only types of behaviors with which teenagers are familiar. Remember that, although teens may seem very adult-like in many ways and although they are trying to carve out a place for themselves in the adult world, they are still technically children, and they cannot always be held to adult standards of behavior.
3. There could be more to the story.
Although most teenage difficulty is normal, it is important that you not rule out serious underlying causes of bad behavior. Depression and bipolar disorder have already been mentioned, and anxiety and drug problems are also possibilities. These things can occur in otherwise normal and functional teenagers, so it is imperative that you heed the warning signs of these behaviors when you see them.
You know your teen better than anyone else, so it’s your job as a parent to make the call as to whether or not your teenager’s behavior is within the normal range of rebellion for their age. Use your judgment to determine if your teen’s actions are normal or if they could be a sign of something more serious.