You : How was school today?
Your teenager : Why are you asking ? Why do you need to check on everything I do !
You: I was simply asking if your day went good, not checking on anything !
Your teenager : Oh you always do. How was the study, what did you do, what are you wearing, when will you return… endless questions.
It is disheartening indeed to see your child responding to you with outright rudeness or becoming defiant day by day. But you must also know that most of the parents face this with their teenagers. For starters we need to decode a teenager’s brain first to understand teenager behavioral problems and how to work on teenager behavior management strategies.
What does it mean to be a teenager?
Teenage is the time when children start exploring the world, learn with experience and deal with situations all by themselves; a stage which is immensely responsible for shaping ones’ personality. Whatever a teenager does, experiences, feels, or deals with, all leave a huge impact for the rest of his life, which is why it is crucial to have a teenage, free of irrational baggage and unresolved emotional conflicts. If you, as a parent wants your adolescent to behave in a particular or ‘respectful’ manner, it won’t happen by forcing them and will lead to more frustration, teenage problems and in extreme cases teenage depression.
So let’s start by understanding your children to gain a better understanding of why they do what they do.
It defines parents who always have high expectations from their children, who use strict prohibitory rules and excessive punishment to have control over their kids. When a kid spends his childhood in such restricted environment and later gets the taste of freedom through peer interaction, he rebels, often excessively. He starts comparing his parents with other parents and end up judging their behaviour villainous. Black and white thinking is very common at this age and major concern behind teenager problems
Suppression of Frustration
A teenager goes through a lot of physical and emotional changes when he hits puberty leading to teen issues. Cognitive distortions like overgeneralisation, polarisation, blaming, etc are very common in these years. Feelings of pain and confusion often get unbearable to deal with, especially when concerns are left unaddressed and unanswered. In order to avoid consequences of confrontation, they suppress their frustration, only to burst them out later.
Impaired Peer Relationships
The world of a teenager is very different. A major teen challenge is: Peer pressure and expectations that are a huge concerns for your adolescent if he wants to fit in. If unable to do so, he has good chances of getting bullied, humiliated in front of others which will result only in low self-esteem and bad mental health for your kid. Many of the children of this age use defence mechanism such as ‘Displacement,’ where they take out their school or college frustration on their parents to feel good about themselves. This also helps in feeding their low self-esteem will gradually spread in all aspects of life and they will never learn a better and healthier way to cope with difficult situations.
Lack of Communication in the Family
This is the most common and neglected reason for a teenager’s disrespectful behaviour. If something goes wrong in the family the teenagers remain clueless. Nobody talks, nobody answers. Parents assume it’s their duty to protect their children by withholding bad information. On the other hand, teenagers, who view themselves as “almost adults” get angry at their parents continuous dismissive and secretive behaviour. In order to get back at their parents, they start using or doing things their parents won’t approve like back answering, staying out late, using foul language, etc. This leads to suspiciousness and hostility. Remember, if you don’t give them a proper answer, somebody else will, and that’s something you better avoid.
No kidding. Sometimes they do it just to appear ‘cool’ among their friends who view back talking with parents as an achievement of some sort. This happens because they need the social approval of a particular crowd they fancy being a part of. You will have to be extremely patient with such kids. Yelling and shouting or punishments won’t work. This all might end up encouraging them, making them push their boundaries which you certainly don’t want. Risk-taking behaviour will surface more and success in such activities will leave them wanting for similar adrenaline rush.
Here we talked about what are the basic causes for disrespectful and defiant behaviour. Find out how you can teach your teen to express himself in a more acceptable manner in the next blog : How to Deal with Disrespectful Teenagers