Subject: teenage rebellion
Question: Hello M. Kay, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I just wanted to know what the main causes of teen rebellion are… Ren
Answer: Dear Ren:
This could take sometime and I am sure more than a few dissertations have been written about this topic. However the short version is teens rebel as a way of separating themselves from their parents and becoming their own person.
We want them to do this, however, we also want them to do so safely. If your real question is how to minimize or not increase this rebellion in a negative way I can provide suggestions.
Try to give your teen input into as many decisions in his/her life as you can. Provide at least two alternatives to any situation which you can live with (VERY IMPORTANT – if you throw an option out which you don’t want them to choose guess which one they will choose?).
Ask them to tell you what they think the options should be and consider their answers very seriously. Try to listen more than you talk. All of us as parents make the mistake of lecturing rather than listening and the more a teen feels heard the more likely they are to come around to your way of doing things. I did not say they will agree or even like what you ask they will however comply.
Remember “rebellion” implies resisting control. Control with teens is an illusion. One they will only too willingly let us see for what it is if we do not gain their respect. They conform and choose to do what we ask when they respect us and do not want to disappoint us.
M Kay Keller