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Is defiant teen behavior what it really is? Here’s what else could be behind your teen’s attitude

The reason for defiant teen behavior isn't always what you think

There’s a reason we call 3-year-olds “threenagers.” If you have a teenager in the house, you’re probably experiencing a higher-than-normal attitude. But is your teenager trying to make both of you cry every day? Well, no, they really aren’t. Your teenager’s behavior doesn’t mean the obvious is going on with them. We’re here to help you decipher your teen’s defiant behavior, so everybody will live in harmony again.

Parents sitting on either side of teen and scolding her

Defiance is normal

It may not always be a drag-out WWE match, but your teen will give you pushback. Your teenager is getting ready to become an adult, but still isn’t able to think through responsibility and consequences. It’s not your fault, and it’s not your teen’s fault. It’s a part of growing up, and we all went through it.

Father talking to a teen

Reasons for the defiance

It’s so important to know why your teen is being defiant. While we can’t list all of the reasons, we’ll go over a few.

Yes, it’s the hormones

Oh, those teenager hormones are something, and they are absolutely driving your teen crazy. This translates to them not knowing what to do other than make your life crazy.

A fix

Lots of parent-to-child talks need to happen to help them understand why they’re having these feelings. There are also great books about teenage hormones for them to have for constant reference.

They want to compare you

Your teen has heard their friends talk about how their parents treat them. They want to see if you’re a better or worse parent — in their eyes — than their friend’s parents.

A fix

Go over with your teen that all families are different. Let them know you’re open to ideas and suggestions if there’s something they want to discuss.

They need more love, but don’t want to ask

They want more attention at home, but don’t want you to know they do. They miss you but would never admit it.

A fix

Schedule one-on-one time. Whether it’s a date you took them on when they were little to give them that sense of security, or a weekend road trip, give them your full attention to rebuild that bond.

They are scared to ask

Asking permission as a teen isn’t easy. Teens feel personally rejected if told no, no matter the reason why.

A fix

Rather than giving a hard no, talk out a middle-ground solution. If that day doesn’t work, look for alternatives together. If it’s something that’s too expensive, look for a cheaper option or see if you could make it. They’ll stop being scared to ask if they know you’ll compromise.

If for any reason, you think your teen’s defiance is getting extreme, seek outside help. Raising a teenager will test everyone’s limits, and that’s OK. With patience, understanding — and maybe a lot of coffee — you’ll help your teen navigate this chapter in their life, and everyone will come out more understanding of each other.

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