All teenagers challenge the authority of parents, school, and society in their own way. For some teens, this can be minimal, such as growing out hair and dying it a funky color. For others, this can consist of abusing alcohol, narcotics, or sexual relationships. Any parent needs to set down guidelines that are both healthy and rigid so that there is no gray area for their teenager's behavior. These guidelines must encompass everything from their schoolwork to their relationships with the opposite sex. Parents should not feel that talking over problems with a counselor is a last resort, since these professionals are used to resolving disputes.
Why do teens so consistently aggravate their parents? For much a child's early life, their assimilation into a productive member of society is prevalent upon obeying the rules laid down by others. This can encompass a teacher who requires students to raise their hands to talk, or it can come from seeing friends and peers work and mimicking their behavior. During the teenage years, however, the assimilation process is turned into a questioning process because teens feel they must discover their own identity. Teens question themselves, their roles in society, and those who tell them what they can or should be. This leads to a large amount of friction when this identity fails to live up to their ideal. In some cases, they can be attracted towards a largely negative identity, such as a gang, because it forges a strong sense of purpose.
Anyone wondering if their teen is moody, frustrated, starts arguments, and only thinks of themselves is probably right, since this is typical of nearly all teens. Parents should not be upset or critical of this behavior. Instead, they need to communicate clearly when a teenager crosses lines established in their relationships. Teens will always challenge this authority, so it is imperative that the parent respond assertively when the boundary line is stepped over.
Even the biggest problems between parents and teenagers can be resolved with patience and with trust between both parties. You can get more input on troubled teens advice and help by clicking here.