Defiant Teen?

Defiant Teen? Dealing with an out-of-control, or defiant teen, is difficult. Parenting teenagers with behavior issues is hard, when a teen becomes defiant of rules and authority it may seem impossible. Learn tips for dealing with a defiant teen.

The teenage years are fraught with emotional angst and difficulty. Teenagers are going through a period of physical, mental and emotional change, and it and can be difficult to deal with them. Teens themselves might be having trouble dealing with everything that is going on. In some cases, a teenager becomes defiant. A defiant teen may refuse to acknowledge your authority and insist on flouting rules. While it can be difficult to deal with defiant teens, an attempt must be made. Here are some things you can try if you have a defiant teen:

  1. Praise your teen when she or he does something good: While this may not completely erase the defiant teen behavior, it does remind your teenager that you love him or her, and that you are not always lecturing or showing disappointment.
  2. Try to talk about the definat teen’s behavior, rather than talking about your teen is “bad”: This goes hand in hand with #1. Instead of telling your teen that he or she is trouble, talk about how you are disappointed in the behavior. Point out to your teenager that he or she is making poor choices, and this behavior is what is disappointing and needs to be altered.
  3. Try not to focus too much on external appearances: Sometimes, a defiant teen becomes even more intractable when you focus on things that are somewhat inconsequential. If your teen is still getting good grades, and if she or he is showing some degree of respect, picking a fight over some black fingernails or a weird hairstyle is not the way to encourage closeness and mutual respect. Recognize that some things, while annoying and sometimes embarrassing, are not as important as others.
  4. Enforce rules when you can: You may not be able to stop a defiant teen from sneaking out at night, but you can lock away his or her video games, or restrict computer or TV time. If you set these rules, enforce them as you can. Also, you will have to keep saying no repeatedly. Just as when they were young children, teenagers are testing your resolve. If you change your mind due to constant nagging, your teen will learn that this eventually gets results. Stand firm when you are right.
  5. Let your child experience consequences: Don’t make excuses for bad behavior to others about your defiant teen. If your child makes a mistake, especially through defiance, let that child feel some of the consequences, so that he or she learns that poor choices have real effects in the world. Don’t enable defiant or irresponsible behavior by negating the consequences of some actions.

In most cases, kicking a defiant teen out for disrespectful behavior may not be the best solution. Sometimes a short-term program, such as a boot camp or wilderness program, can help a defiant teen learn better control and behavior. The main exception is if a teenager is becoming violent. You do not want other family members, especially younger siblings, exposed to dangerous situations. If you are dealing with teenager violence, it is important to seek some sort of help, in the form of a residential facility, or even help from law enforcement.

If your defiant teen is also using drugs, you will need to get immediate help. Drug abuse can lead to lifelong health problems and to difficulties down the road in terms of social behavior. You will need to find help for a teen drug addiction as quickly as possible. There are community programs that can help, as well as treatment facilities that can help your defiant teen overcome addiction. This means that you might have to send your teenager away for a while in order to help her or him get beyond an addiction.

Preventing defiant teen behavior

One of the best ways to deal with defiant teens is to prevent the behavior in the first place. This starts when your child is very young. You need to build a loving home environment based on mutual respect. You need to cultivate lines of communication so that your child grows up viewing you as a loving parent and adviser. You need to be clear in your role as parent, and resist the temptation to be a friend, an equal. Use parent contracts, if necessary, to enforce rules. Establish a relationship in which your child can feel comfortable speaking to you about problems and challenges, but in which your child is aware of who is the adult, and who is in charge.

In the end, your main focus needs to be love and, to some degree, understanding. Do your best, and your child is likely to move beyond the defiant teen stage and develop into a responsible adult.

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