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Rebellious Teens – 10 Ways to Fix Them

9 min read
Rebellious teens may be trying to find their own footing. They may be trying to determine where they fit in the family or society in general.  
Why you need to be the best friend to your rebellious teens

Understanding teenagers

Even for the most loving and understanding parents, handling rebellious teens can be difficult. This is a period when teens begin to discover their own identities. They no longer lean on their parents' decisions.

The teens begin to challenge the rules and may even give their parents a hard time about it. This is not unanticipated or abnormal behavior. Almost all teens go through it at some point. How you respond and how much you let it affect you is what matters.  

Why you need to be the best friend to your rebellious teens
Understanding teenagers

Handling your teen’s rebellious behavior will help keep things from getting out of hand. It will also set the stage for stronger parent-child relationships moving forward. We also get an opportunity to set healthier boundaries. Not forgetting that it reinforces our trust in them as independent human beings. We get to realize they are worthy of our respect. Raising Godly Kids comes with restraint while at the same time not losing our responsibility as parents. The differences we may have with our teens hold no water at the time.  

Establish and Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are the limits we set for our interactions with others. They define where you end and other people begin. You have the responsibility to develop and maintain appropriate boundaries. This helps maintain a healthy relationship between you and your teen. I found The Peacemaker very helpful, not only in relating with teens but with everyone in general.

The exact limits you set will be based on your parenting philosophy and the situation at hand. Healthy boundaries include being clear about what is and is not acceptable in your home. You also need to be sensitive to your teen’s needs and communicate those boundaries in a firm yet loving way.  

Workable boundaries include being clear about your house rules though not written.

Be Mindful of Your Behavior

Rebellious teens are often forming their own identities. They may not appreciate that the way we handle things in our family may be very different from the way their friends’ parents do. In other words, your teen may be trying to figure out who they are by comparing themselves to you.  

So it is important to be mindful of your behavior as a parent. It's also good to recognize that your teen may not be emulating you intentionally.  

Ask yourself questions like; Am I going to ask my teen to "forgive and forget", when I'm not able to practice the same?

It is also important to note that while your teen may be challenging your rules, they are probably not doing so out of malice or a desire to annoy you.  

Rebellious teens may be trying to find their own footing. They may be trying to determine where they fit in the family or society in general.

Teenage is delicate. It cuts childhood and adulthood in the middle. The teens feel they are not children anymore. At the same time, they are not adults. It's a confusing stage in life.

On many occasions, rebellious teens don't do it consciously.

Be Consistent in Enforcing Consequences

While you may have been more lenient in the past, you need to be consistent in your teen’s adolescence. Holding your line and being consistent in your discipline can help your teen understand that you mean business.  

Consistency is key; at the same time, pray for them. You can seek the intercession of St. Dominic Savio to get your rebellious teens back on track. This saint has an amazing history. He prayed until his classmates reformed.

Dealing with a rebellious teenager Biblically is one of the most important steps to take. It's a sign that you acknowledge the power of the Lord. It also shows you have faith that there is nothing too difficult for God.

It is very important to make sure that you follow through with the discipline you promise. Otherwise, your teen may not take you seriously. In the long run, your disciplinary actions will not have the desired effect.  

It is vital to remember that adolescents are more sensitive to the consequences that come with their actions. That is, their poor choices will most likely have a negative effect on them. But it is up to parents to make sure those natural consequences come from us.  

Stay Calm and Collected

If you want your adolescent to calm down and behave, you must learn to regulate your emotions. Things might go out of control while under pressure or in the heat of battle. Try to avoid the breakdown rather than responding to it immediately. Reduce the ranting and emotional breakdown by remaining calm.

You must take care of yourself if you want to protect your family. If you notice any signs of violence, you must have a security plan in place.

The goal of downtime is for teens to sit quietly. Some experts recommend not starting the allotted time until your teenager is calm. In this way, rebellious teens learn to associate good behavior with the end of the pause. It sends the message that yelling during the pause doesn't work.

Don’t take it personally and don’t overreact

Rebellious teens are most likely not trying to upset you. They are likely trying to find their own place in the world. This is their journey, and it is not as if they are maliciously trying to cause you stress. So be sure not to take their behavior personally.  

The best way to respond to your rebellious teen is not to overreact. If you find yourself getting emotional, or feeling as if you have to defend your position or authority, you have let the situation control you. Once you instill fear in your teens, they are likely to develop low self-esteem which is detrimental to their whole well-being.

A rebellious teen is going to have a very difficult time growing and maturing if they feel like they are under constant attack from you. In their honest opinion, they are right. While implementing corrections, it's prudent to consider that they are still developing.

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Rebellious teens get better with patient understanding parents

Having some alone time with your teens can help you understand the psychology of teen rebellion.

Don’t React Emotionally

Your child gains power if they act in a way that conveys their rage or other powerful emotions. Instead of handing over control, learn to regulate your anger. You can reduce pressure via deep breathing, counting, or amusing activities. A simple switch of the mind might just be all you need to save the situation.

When you're angry, take a moment to calm yourself down. Take a few deep breaths, or walk away and come back when you calm down. This way, you are more likely to face fair and reasonable consequences. Especially if your child knows how to push your buttons or upset you, it's even more important to stay calm and not discipline them out of frustration or anger.

When you feel angry or excited, adjust your body. Pay attention to where you feel uneasy: Is your stomach knotted, are you shaking or starting to sweat? Watch for these signs and realize it's time to take control of yourself.

Even though it's simple to become enraged when your teen behaves badly, resist acting. Keep in mind that you are an adult and that when he is agitated, he has less emotional control and is less able to reason. Before responding, do something to distract you a bit. Press the pause button until you both have calmed down. 

Find Ways to Reinforce Positive Behavior

While you will definitely want to be consistent in your discipline, you also want to make sure that you are reinforcing positive behavior.  

Your teen is likely searching for their place in the world or trying to find out where they fit. They may not always know how best to go about doing this.  

So be sure not to leave all the positive reinforcement solely to your disciplinary actions. Teenagers are beginning to think and are starting to feel independent. They want to make their own decisions. So be sure to praise your teen for the good things that they do. Show them you appreciate the effort they put into their actions.  

Respect their Decision-Making Process

Avoid the urge to argue with your teen if they say things like "I'll do it tomorrow" or "It's not fair!" Set a clear limit and abide by it. Make it obvious that they are free to disagree with your choice and to express their anger.

Even if they are always welcome, they still have to pay attention to what you have to say.

Try to appear composed. Empathize while being faithful to your decisions. Avoid engaging in nasty power disputes as well.

No matter how "unready" you believe they are, don't treat them like toddlers. They will always be youngsters in your sight.

Don't treat rebellious teens with disrespect when they voice their ideas.

All family decisions—big and small—should involve them. This is how they know they are a valued member of your family.

But what if the choice is inappropriate or not allowed? How can a teenager feel like they support their actions without undermining our respect for elders?

Set Clear Ground Rules and Stick to them

Families should establish and adhere to a set of "house rules" that have instant repercussions.

Examples of consequences include losing privileges if they are broken.

Standards and punishments should be defined beforehand so that everyone knows what will follow misbehavior. 

The ideal restrictions are those that can be applied in a fair, sensible, and consistent manner.

The ability to set reasonable expectations is another crucial trait for developing patience.

It's completely OK to be irate and demanding when things take time.

For a while, have patience with rebellious teens who are acting out ("Come on!"). Encourage your adolescent to have more realistic expectations. 

The most crucial thing is to live up to your expectations and keep in mind all of your teen's great traits.

Don't merely concentrate on the downsides. You also don't need to act as though making errors is an indication that you've failed or that you've neglected your parenting obligations.

Make Sure you Understand the Goals of Rebellious Teens

These measures are meant to make rebellious teens feel at ease in their existing environment.

Be specific about their goals and take actions that will help them achieve their dream future.

Setting objectives can assist in helping rebellious teens satisfy their need for independence in a constructive way.

Most parents I speak to want to raise their kids to be kind, responsible people who can stand independently in the future. If this applies to you, consider the difficulties encountered as they grow. 

Avoid Arguing about Irrelevant Topics

Start setting boundaries with your teen by identifying what really matters.

Separate the non-negotiable from the negotiable.

Restart the meeting with your child so you can work through the problem without expecting a solution.

Honestly, many family conflicts are not worth your time and effort. The important thing is to decide which fights are worth fighting and which are best to let go of.

Rebellious teens often use trivial arguments to delay compliance. Instead, focus only on the battles that really require your attention to protect your teen's well-being.

By avoiding minor disagreements, you can create a more peaceful environment for your family, which can give your child more confidence to contact you about more important issues.

Don’t Resort to Name-Calling or Aggression

Stay away from unnecessary noise.

Avoid telling teens what to do in trivial matters. Insisting on unsolicited advice can at best be interpreted as nitpicking and a threat to young people's individualized selves.

In the worst case, you become the "enemy" or the "opponent". Allow reasonable space for teens.

Don't fight fire with fire - avoid violence against your rebellious teens.

If you hit your child in response, you are sending them the message that violence can be used to resolve differences. By avoiding violence, you are setting a positive example that you think is acceptable.


The teenage years mark a crucial developmental milestone in our children's lives. It is a time when they are beginning to emerge as self-reliant individuals. They forge their own paths and explore their identities.  

While this can be both exciting and challenging for parents, we can take steps to make it a smoother ride for all involved.  

First, it is important to recognize that our teens are not trying to be difficult on purpose. They are trying to discover where they fit in the world.

Second, it is best to set and maintain healthy boundaries in our relationships with our teens.  

Finally, it is good not to take our teens’ behavior personally and not to overreact.  

If we can follow these steps, we can help make adolescence a smoother and more positive experience for both teens and parents. We may end up realizing rebellious teens are not against us.

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