Why Do Teens Rebel? How To Manage a Teen Rebelling

Teenage rebellion: two words that can often strike horror into the heart of any parent or teacher. We will guide you through some of the reasons why teens rebel and how you can manage a teen that is rebelling.

7 Reasons That Teens Rebel

Reasons That Teens Rebel

Teenagers rebel as they are trying to make their own identity that is separate from their parents or their family. Eventually, they will become independent, but it can be a tough journey for them, the teen rebelling and you, the adult in their life, to navigate together.

Making Their Own Identity 

Teenagers are trying to work out who they are and what their beliefs and values are.  As they navigate these uncharted waters, they can sometimes seem rebellious toward the parents and teachers that have previously guided them along the way.

Attention Seeking Teens

Some teens rebel as a way to get attention from their parents, their teachers or their peers. This is particularly common at school as teens try to seek acceptance and make friends with new people as they go through adolescence.  Having a lack of attention from their parents may lead them to act recklessly to gain attention elsewhere. 

Over-Protective Parents

teens rebelling

As much as you love your child, being over-protective can lead to your teen feeling stifled at home and like you don’t trust them.  They may feel the need to rebel to ignore your worrying nature and feel like they have more personal space. Having a lack of attention from their parents may lead them to act recklessly to gain attention elsewhere. 

A Bid For Independence 

Most teens crave independence as they grow older and sometimes rebel to achieve it.  As they seek more freedom, some parents can misinterpret this as rebellion.  Teens want space to grow and become their own person.

Taking Control As a Teenager

Teenagers can sometimes feel like other people have way too much say in their lives. After years of parents and schools making decisions for them, they can sometimes seem defiant and rebellious against authority as they try to make their voices heard. 

Hormonal Changes For a Teen Rebelling

Teens are constantly dealing with surges of hormones due to all the physical changes they experience during adolescence. Sometimes these hormones can cause them to make rash decisions or generally display impulsive behavior, which can be a factor in a teen rebelling.

Their Brains Are Testing Boundaries

Another physical reason that might be linked to your teen rebelling, is due to changes in their brain development. The part of the brain linked to personality, decision-making and control- the prefrontal cortex- begins kicking in. 

Teens can come across as argumentative, testing boundaries and questioning everything as their brains develop more decision-making skills for adulthood. 

How To Deal With Teenage Rebellion As a Parent

How To Deal With Teenage Rebellion

Parents can find dealing with teenage rebellion extremely tough.  Suddenly a child who has relied on you and opened up to you for years might be huffing and puffing at you over their breakfast, or slamming doors after reasonable requests for help with chores or queries about homework. 

Don’t Be Too Harsh on Your Rebelling Teen

It may sound cliche, but don’t forget we have all been there and we know how they feel.  Even if today’s teens face some different issues compared with you in your teenage years, some things don’t change…being a teenager can be tough! Be as kind as you can, even on challenging days. 

No One is Perfect

Be kind to your teen.  They don’t really want to be rebelling and making mistakes.  They are simply testing boundaries and trying to work out how they are.  Although this can be an exciting time for them, they could be overwhelmed by all the changes they are going through. 

One Step at a Time

teenage rebellion

If your teen is acting up in lots of different ways, choose one area to work on with them.  Don’t try to deal with missed curfews, overdue homework and messy rooms all at once. It will lead to arguments and backward steps. 

Involve Your Rebellious Teen

Talk to your teen and ask them to help you think of solutions when they are struggling with their behavior.

They are probably worried about something or want to talk to you but don’t know how to get started. Sending a quick text asking them for a chat and saying why you want to talk would help to break the ice.

Compromise With Your Teenager

Try to work out solutions that mean both you and your teen feel listened to. If both parties come away from a chat feeling supported, then the rebellious behavior should soon begin to disappear.

Set a Good Example

Model for your teen the positive behavior you hope to get from them. Show up when you said you would, keep your bedroom floor free of clutter and eat at the dining table if that is one of your house rules for teens. Parents need to practice what they preach!

Be Open and Honest With Your Rebelling Teen

Teens like to ask questions, so be open with them and give them the chance to talk through ideas and issues with you. 

They need to sound out their ideas about the world in a safe place with a safe person- you! You should try to be honest with your teenager about your feelings, even about how their rebellious behavior makes you feel.  

Teenage Rebellion FAQ

We’ve put together some FAQs about teenage rebellion and some quick answers for you to refer to easily.

What causes a teenager to rebel?

What causes a teenager to rebel answer

What causes a teenager is rebel is changes that happen in adolescence, finding their own place in the world, and seeking more freedom.

Is it good for teenagers to rebel?

Is it good for teenagers to rebel

Teenagers need to learn independence to ready them for adulthood.  Rebellion, in small doses, can be a great way for them to test boundaries and discover who they really are as long as they are safe. 

How do you deal with a rebel teenager?

How do you deal with a rebel teenager

Be fair and honest with your teenager.  Keep things light-hearted if you can and always strive to be kind, no matter how you feel about their behavior. 

Is it normal for teenagers to rebel?

Is it normal for teenagers to rebel

Teenagers rebelling is a normal part of young people growing up. However, some behaviors can be extreme and parents and teachers should seek more advice if they are concerned. 

What are some examples of teenage rebellion?

Some teenagers break rules or even laws, others experiment with alcohol or drugs and many miss homework deadlines and curfews. 

Hopefully, with kindness, honesty and a generous helping of patience, you and your rebelling teen will be able to come through this tricky time together.  The hard work you put in now will hopefully pay off when you see the happy and successful adult your teenager can become.

Sara Dylan

Author Information

Sara Dylan is passionate about researching and writing interesting articles to help people. Sara is a prolific writer at TeenWire.org, and enjoys a nice cup of tea as much as the next person.